Last month NDA’s shadow Prime Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani on the morning of Holi went to the house of congress president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi on 10 Janpath. He met her and presented her with his recently launched autobiography ‘My Country My Life’. From there he directly went to the house of Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh.
Two days before Holi, he revealed his memoir ‘My Country My Life’. A huge number of celebrities attended the program and a substantial amount of dignitaries gave it a miss, instead of being on the guest list, and the two [Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson] were among the absentees. Not just Ms. Gandhi but the whole congress clan missed the program and drew conspicuous attention from their nonappearance. But why was Mr. Advani so keen to meet them and present them with the book, so urgently?
This step of Mr. Advani drew mixed responses. Where some appreciated his initiative, the others were critical of the same. Some took it in the good spirit of festival and others as just a publicity gimmick. But none gave the answer, as to why he did it? Was it actually a step towards improving relations or just a political stunt?
Everyone knows that the relation between the two political adversaries [as Mr. Advani puts it] i.e. Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Advani has never been good. The two are hardly on any talking terms and the same goes with the Prime Minister too. Not only personally but officially too, the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister hardly have anything to talk about, forget about discussing, and people believe that this is because of the fact that Mr. Advani and Ms. Gandhi do not share very amicable relation.
10 years in the office of congress president, Ms. Gandhi has faced good amount of resistance from not just other political parties but some also from her own kiln. The issue of her foreign origin was started and perpetuated by BJP only. In the last 10 years the two had hardly met officially, social meeting was nowhere in question. In his memoir also, BJP’s shadow Prime Minister has been very critical of Ms. Gandhi, about both her foreign origin and her hand in covering up the alleged role of Quattrocchi in the Bofors scandal.
But then why he went to present the same book to her and that too after a blunt response from her side to his invitation? To get the answers we are looking for, let us again talk about the complex ‘Advani Code’.
In my opinion Mr. Advani is one person in Indian politics whose every action sends many messages to the whole political fraternity. Earlier in my post ‘The Advani Code’ [http://www.zhagdoo.com/2007/12/30/the-advanis-code] I tried to talk about a few statements which he made and what actually did they stand for? More often than not, his statements have been left unheard, mainly because our self proclaimed political pundits just fails to read between the lines.
Visiting Ms. Gandhi was a master stroke and it was done at a very right moment. It was very palpable that Ms. Gandhi will not attend the launch of ‘My Country My Life’. Still he sent her the invitation, and made sure that everyone knows about it. Then he regretted about the almost zilch communication between him and Ms. Gandhi and that there was no response from her side to the invitation of the book launch.
A little history here, even though the Former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was the biggest political adversary of all time and she even got all the political leaders arrested during the emergency, still she was on talking terms with Mr. Advani and other leaders. Their relations never deteriorated to the extent UPA Chairperson has taken them to, and Mr. Advani wanted the country to realize it.
Then he went to her residence on the festival of Holi. The whole episode drives home the point that although the relations were on all time low, still he was more than game to improve them, and he tried to do so on more than one occasion. If there was any resistance then it was from the other side not his.
This, on one hand puts a substantial amount of blame of deteriorating relations on Ms. Gandhi and the credit for improvement [if there will be any] will go to Mr. Advani. There might not be any direct implication of it, but indirect results make a major dent to Ms. Gandhi’s image. It sends a message, that for the benefit of the country, Mr. Advani has kept all his petty differences aside and went to Ms. Gandhi for betterment.
By this he gets a major image overhaul, which he definitely needs for paving his way to 7 Race Course.