Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his official X account announced that BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani will be honoured with Bharat Ratna.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his official X account announced that BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani will be honoured with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. In the tweet, he said that Advani is one of the most respected statesmen of his time and has made an important contribution to the development of India.
Advani has served as the Deputy Prime Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He has been a member of both Houses of the Parliament between 1970 and 2019. Like Indian Prime Minister Modi, Advani has also made a significant contribution towards bringing BJP to a prominent stage. Advani has stood for Modi during the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was held responsible.
How did Advani become Modi’s ‘shield’?
When riots took place in Gujarat in 2002, Modi was the Chief Minister of the state at the time. The Indian Government which was run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister. After the riots, Prime Minister Vajpayee went to Gujarat and advised Modi to follow ‘Rajdharma’. While Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted Modi to resign, Lal Krishna Advani was against it.
The BJP veteran himself has mentioned this incident in his autobiography “My Country My Life”. He writes that he and Vajpayee disagreed on two issues. The first was the Ayodhya issue, on which ultimately Vajpayee had to accept the party’s opinion. The second was the demand for Narendra Modi’s resignation over the Gujarat riots, which Advani strongly opposed.
Advani elaborated that post Godhra riots, opposition parties became adamant in demanding the resignation of the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Some parties that were part of the NDA alliance also wanted Modi’s resignation, but he was completely against it.
Advani sent Modi to Gujarat
BJP experienced a setback in the 1984 elections, leading to a shift for Narendra Modi from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the BJP itself. Those who know BJP closely say that at the time, it was Advani who sent Modi to work in Gujarat. This move, significantly influenced by Advani, eventually put Modi in the position of the National General Secretary of the party.
How did Modi become Advani’s ‘saarathi'(charioteer)?
In the 1990s, when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was at its peak and Advani was its leader, he received Narendra Modi’s support. The entire command of Advani’s Rath Yatra was in the hands of Modi. There are old photos that captured the Indian Prime Minister with the BJP veteran during that time.
After the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, the government constituted the Liberhan Commission to investigate. The 10-member investigation committee formed under the leadership of Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan recorded the statements of all the people. In which the leader of the movement, Lal Krishna Advani was also present. The tenure of this commission was extended 48 times and it took more than one and a half decades to submit the report.