Daijiworld Media Network
Mangalore, Nov 3: Despite being on the wrong side of 84, BJP leader L K Advani has kept alive his Prime Ministerial ambitions much to the exasperation of his party colleagues who wanted him to bow down gracefully and makes way for a younger leader to be projected in the next elections 2014.
However, Advani’s filial love is proving to be much more embarrassing to party leaders and even the RSS which it is believed is slowly losing patience with the veteran leader. That his daughter Prathibha accompanies him during the 38-day long strenuous ‘Jan Chetna Yatra’, has sent enough signals that Advani is no different from other political leaders when it comes to promoting his family and his own band of faithfuls. Though Pratibha has been part of most of Advani’s events, for the first time she is in the limelight along with her father, making it a family affair. It is also learnt that top BJP leaders have been advised against participating in the yatra. In Karnataka it was a huge setback for Advani and Co as many ministers (Yeddyurappa supporters) including those who have grown in the RSS backyard chose to abstain during the Karnataka leg of the yatra.
Newspapers have flashed photographs of Prathibha in her saffron coloured salwars, waving at the crowd and sharing vantage position along with her father all through the yatra. Some newspaper have reported about RSS’s displeasure with Advani for turning his Bharat Chetna Yatra into a promotional tour for himself, his family and his so called loyalists led by the indomitable politician from Karnataka, Yeddyuyrappa’s bête noire Anant Kumar.
The RSS is peeved the way the yatra is proceeding, contrary to the original idea that it should be a party show raising voice against corruption and not a yatra with a personal agenda of promoting his family or projecting himself as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. But what is happening now is quite embarrassing for the BJP central leadership and also the RSS. That Pratibha Advani is a part of the entire yatra of 38 days which is quite exhaustive and demanding, is in itself an indication that this yatra is will be a political launch pad for this articulate daughter of iron man of BJP.
It may be remembered that just two years ago Pratibha Advani had categorically denied joining politics (for the time being) saying ‘she is in no mood to join politics’. But she had not totally ruled out joining politics. “I have unfortunately not been able to devote much time for active politics myself but my involvement with my father has been pretty complete. Later in life, if I feel I want to give it my whole time or something then I will”, PTI had quoted her saying in 2009.
Within a short gap two years the Indian political scenario has changed drastically what with many politicians sent to jail and people forging a united fight against corruption. In the changed political situation it looks as though Advani and his loyalists thought the time is just ripe for Pratibha to make a politically correct statement by slowly making her entry but in a bigger platform. But such a move is sure to boomerang on him personally and also on the party considering that Advani has always derided the congress for its dynastic rule and had time and again stated that he’ll not do anything disparaging for his party. Such a move would also take the sheen away from the BJP leaving only the communist party which has stayed true not to promoting political dynasties.
Though she has grown up in a political atmosphere Pratibha Advani has over the years earned a name for herself away from politics. She is a well-known name on television anchoring programmes especially cinema programmes and also owns a media company which is engaged in producing programmes for television channels.
It is widely believed that Pratibha had not used her surname avoiding it wherever possible so that not to get the undue advantage she would have got otherwise as Advani’s daughter. But all those carefully orchestrated plans are history now and there are enough indications that Pratibha is inching towards a political career to follow in her father’s footsteps. That must be making the BJP central leadership quite fidgety as the party may not be able to harp on the subject of dynastic rule (especially aimed at Nehru-Gandhi family) in the coming elections. Of course Pratibha’s entry into politics cannot be equated with that of Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi. Even Pratibha Advani had said on an earlier occasion that such comparisons are out of question because when it comes to Nehru-Gandhi family their political entry is a foregone conclusion whereas it is not so in case of others. There is certainly an iota of truth in this as Pratibha is a political novice and cannot or does not have the charisma of the Nehru Gandhi family.
While the infusion of fresh and young blood in parties is a welcome step one has to only wait and see whether Advani also has succumbed to the much maligned but highly tempting filial love syndrome afflicting Indian politics. His supporters may cry foul saying Pratibha’s political entry is on merit which holds true of other parties including the Congress.