Advani: Unceremoniously shifted

NEW DELHI :  In the BJP the old order is changing. Party patriarch L K Advani is a case in point:  He had occupied the room allotted to the NDA Working Chairman for over a decade. Not only has Advani been unceremoniously uprooted from the room, his name plate too has been removed. But significantly Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s name plate is still intact.

The former Deputy Prime Minister was stumped when he reached his office in Parliament on June 4 and learnt about his removal. Since then he has been operating from the BJP office in the Parliament complex. Nobody has any inkling till when the makeshift arrangement will continue.

In the Lok Sabha on Thursday, a miffed Advani did not take his seat next to Prime Minister Modi. He was heard pleading with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu that he be allowed to sit in the second row. The back benches, it seems are in vogue in the 16th Lok Sabha. Rahul Gandhi also occupies one. For the record, Vajpayee, who is ailing and in political hibernation, continues to remain the NDA chairman. Advani was designated acting chairman of the alliance in 2004, after the alliance conceded power to the UPA. The NDA is yet to elect its new Working Chairman. Since the BJP has an absolute majority and does not need to bank on the NDA allies, the party is in no hurry to fill up the post.

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