Party has given much more than PM’s post: Advani

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NEW DELHI: Veteran BJP leader L K Advani, who turned 85 today, appeared ambivalent on his prime ministerial ambition when he said what he has got from the party in life was much more than occupying the top post.

“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 here as leaders including BJP President Nitin Gadkari called on him and greeted him on the occasion.

He was asked what is the party’s gift to him.

Advani, apparently unhappy over continuance of Gadkari as party president in the wake of charges of dubious funding of his Purti Group, had kept away from the BJP Core Group meeting on November 6 where the party announced that it has full faith in the BJP President’s leadership. President Pranab Mukherjee sent flowers and wishes to Advani on his birthday.

Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin was one of the first to meet Advani in the morning and wished him.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley also wished him.

Swaraj told reporters that she and other BJP leaders have “learnt politics at Advani’s feet.”

“We wished him good health so that he could guide us in future,” she said.

Former BJP President Rajnath Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, former Uttarakhand CM B C Khanduri and Janata Party Chief Subramanian Swamy, who is now a part of the NDA, also wished Advani.

Prakash Javadekar, spokesperson and MP, said for the “BJP family Atalji and Advaniji will always remain the source of inspiration”.

-PTI