Enter Narendra Modi, exit L K Advani

L K AdvaniFile L K Advani and Narendra Modi after the Surat riots of 1992. (IE Photo)

A day after the BJP handed the reins of the 2014 election campaign to Narendra Modi overruling L K Advani's misgivings, the veteran resigned from all posts in the party, saying he could not "reconcile with... the direction in which the party is going".

As BJP president Rajnath Singh tweeted he had not accepted Advani's resignation and senior leaders including Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar, Venkaiah Naidu and Singh himself rushed to his 30 Prithviraj Road residence, two key allies, JD(U) and Shiv Sena, appeared to back Advani.

The Sena said it could not think of the BJP or NDA without Advani, and the JD(U) declared that the NDA was now on "ventilator support".

In the evening, Modi tweeted he had spoken to Advani by phone and urged him not to "disappoint lakhs of (BJP) karyakartas".

Through the day, there was nothing from Advani that seemed to indicate he might change his mind. The BJP top leadership met several times during the day, and the party's parliamentary board was in a huddle to discuss the unprecedented crisis on Monday evening.

Advani, who had signalled his disapproval of the decision to elevate Modi by staying away from the BJP conclave in Goa — the first national executive meeting that he had ever missed — said in a letter to Singh on Monday morning that he was resigning from the BJP's parliamentary board, national executive and election committee because, "for some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going".

"I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern was the country, and its people. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas," Advani said, without giving any specifics.

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