BJP chief seeks Advani blessings, he plays down talks of PM ambitions

BJP president Nitin Gadkari called on L K Advani on Thursday to wish him his birthday, having skipped meeting him for two days during which he visited other party leaders to seek their support.

Gadkari touched Advani's feet and sought his blessings," Delhi BJP leader Vijay Jolly, who was also present, said. Russian Ambassador Alexander M Kadakin, who called on Advani soon after Gadkari, also touched the BJP patriarch's feet, according to party leaders who were there.

Advani had skipped the meeting of the BJP core group where the party had given a "legal and moral" clean chit to Gadkari on allegations of wrongdoings in his business enterprises. On Thursday, while insisting he wouldn't speak about "politics", Advani appeared to be keen to dispel talk of him harbouring prime ministerial ambitions.

"Party has given me so much all my life that when somebody says you have to become the prime minister, I say becoming prime minister is not more than what I have got from the party,"Advani told reporters.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari were among those who wished him and sent flowers, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav called up to greet him. According to sources, Advani, however, received no call from Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Almost all senior BJP leaders, including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, called on Advani while Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was learnt to have rang him up to wish him.

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