Advani best for BJP but
not for country: Govindacharya
By Neerja Chowdhury
Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) L.K. Advani was chosen as the Bharatiya
Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial nominee because of
a lack of talent in the party, says former BJP general secretary
K.N. Govindacharya. He says Advani is not the "natural
leader" of the Hindutva movement and blamed former prime
minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the "economic mess"
choice of Advani is the best available for the party, but
not necessarily for the country. The reservoir from which
to pick up is so poor that he emerges as the best," Govindacharya,
once a blue-eyed boy of Advani, said during the course of
had quit the BJP in 2000 to go on study leave and recently
re-entered politics by accepting to become the 'sarvesarva'
(overall in charge) of Uma Bharati's Bharatiya Jan Shakti
(BJS) party on the eve of the Madhya Pradesh elections.
was "not the natural leader of the Hindutva movement",
said Govindacharya, adding: "He became the wrong leader
of the right movement. His convictions and moorings are different.
`Bharat' for him starts with the Constituent Assembly debates.
He was influenced by the concept of nation states of Europe
and the West, and not by the concept of geo-culture."
biggest dilemma of the BJP today, Govindacharya elaborated,
was that Advani wanted to move in one direction, adopt a different
line and cut away from the past, but was not able to do so
because he needed the Sangh Parivar.
he had had the courage, he could have split the party and
stuck to his line, come what may. At the time of the Jinnah
controversy, I had sent him a message - have the courage to
follow your convictions and take the issue to the people,"
said Govindacharya referring to Advani's controversial endorsement
of the secularism of Mohammed Ali Jinnah during his 2005 visit
his return to active politics last week, Govindacharya had
said he intended to forge a new political platform which is
"pro-Bharat" and "pro-poor" and try to
bring ideology and idealism back into political functioning.
hit out at the Gen X leaders in the BJP and said that "pragmatism
and careerism" characterised them. "As far as ideology
and idealism are concerned, these will not just be put on
the backburner (by them), they will be nowhere. (Under them),
it will not be politics of conviction but of convenience.
And it will be a no-holds-barred battle between them, each
using their unique weapon to fight."
described Vajpayee as "irrelevant" today.
did what he could to retain power at any cost. Barring Pokhran,
what more can be attributed to him? In that (Pokhran) he picked
up courage; otherwise be it Kargil or any other thing, he
did not act. He opened the floodgates for foreign investment.
He is equally responsible for the economic mess we see today
- the rise of unemployment, disparities and a consumerist
culture," Govindacharya said, without mincing his words.
continues to be a swayamsevak (worker) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS). Asked if he had the Sangh's blessings in what
he was doing, Govindacharya replied: "I don't know. I
haven't asked. But I have always kept them informed about
what I am doing."
said he saw no difference between the Congress and the BJP.
"I call the Congress the `tiranga' party and the BJP
`doranga' Congress. That is why they favour bipolar polity,
so that they can rule by turn."
it came to power in 1998, the BJP had aroused hopes that it
could deliver, he said. But it had traversed the same road
as the Congress. This has led to "a deep sense of disappointment"
in the country and to "failing systems and a failing
the situation was not addressed, "we will see anarchy
I feel, is the BJP's biggest negative contribution which it
does not understand. It is not just about the internal damage
to the party."
did not see the BJP coming to power in 2009. "Today the
Congress and the BJP between them have 282 seats (in the Lok
Sabha). It will come down to 250. The government (in 2009)
will be more unstable, opportunistic and corrupt. We will
see a difference between the pre-poll alliances and the post-
poll alliances, with bids being made by parties and individuals."
if the BJS could join hands with the BJP again, Govindacharya
said: "That does not seem likely. Dekha jayega (We'll
see). Values and issues would be a deciding factor. They will
not listen to us about values and issues. How pro-poor will
they be on, say, land rights for tribals. Agar aajayenge bhi,
tho bahut kashta denge (Even if we join hands, we will give
of the probe into the Sep 29 Malegaon blasts pointing to the
involvement of Sangh leaders, Govindacharya said: "There
is no question of the Sangh being involved... It is a bit
like America making a case for attack on Iraq by talking repeatedly
about it having weapons of mass destruction. They never found
the weapons but they captured the country. We are playing
with fire, at the cost of national solidarity."
said he agreed with BJP president Rajnath Singh when he had
said that a Hindu could not be a terrorist.
white crow or a black swan - this itself is contradictory.
The issue is entirely different. As a society, it (the Hindus)
acts in self-defence. The total society is pitted against
an intolerant faith, and it does not know how to tackle it.
That is the crisis today. The state does not come to its rescue,
it is into petty politics. The proselytizing religions are
a danger to the (Hindu) cultural identity...Minorityism...
will never result in the upliftment of minorities. For that
a more sincere effort is needed."