Mr. Advani has done it again. In the evening of his life, the sulking leader once again resigned from all his posts in the party only to withdraw it the next day at the instance of the RSS. His resignation had come just after the BJP national executive committee in its meeting held in Goa, which Advani had skipped, anointed Narendra Modi the mascot of the party’s forthcoming Lok Sabha poll campaign. Ironically, eleven years ago it was in another BJP executive meeting in Goa where Narendra Modi had managed to save his skin in the wake of the Gujarat genocide and it was none other than LK Advani who had vigorously defended Modi even as the whole country wanted his government dismissed.

This was the third time in last ten years that Advani resigned and then withdrew his resignation, but this time the withdrawal came very swiftly making it clear that Advani had acted in haste and realised that he stood thoroughly isolated in the saffron family. In his resignation letter Advani had levelled serious allegations against the entire crop of current BJP leadership. He had said that the party had deviated entirely from the legacy of its founders like Shyamaprasad Mookherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Nanaji Deshmukh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leaders who apparently only thought about the country and the people. The present batch of leaders, Advani alleged, was driven only by personal agendas.

Well, Advani knows it very well that these leaders may have laid the foundation of the BJP and its predecessor Bhartiya Jan Sangh, but it was Advani and Modi who raised the party to its current levels of electoral success – Advani on the national level and Modi in Gujarat. And this success has come not by thinking about the country and the people, but by aggressively pursuing the divisive politics of communalism and unleashing bloodbath, by demolishing the Babri Masjid and orchestrating a veritable genocide in Gujarat.

Now that Advani has withdrawn his resignation as advised by the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat his hypocritical resignation letter will become a forgotten piece of paper. The blog he had written on the day Modi was being anointed in Goa invoking the mythological Mahabharata metaphor of Bhisma Pitamaha sermonising the Pandavas from his bed of arrows will also be lost in the euphoric ‘NaMo-NaMo’ chants of the pro-Modi brigade.

Ironically, in his blog Advani had mentioned a story he had heard in his Karachi schooldays, about Hitler telling Mussolini that the two would have to pay a heavy price after death for all the sins they had committed. Is it a veiled confessional warning for his erstwhile disciple Modi that both of them would have to foot a huge bill in hell? Well, Mussolini and Hitler did not have to wait for the afterlife to pay their bills, both of them met with fitting ends in April 1945. The popular slogan ‘Jo Hitler ki chal chalega, vo Hitler ki maut marega’ captures the sense of relief and justice the world felt when a thoroughly frustrated and defeated Hitler killed himself just two days after Mussolini was assassinated.

In terms of electoral politics beyond Gujarat, Modi is still an untested and unknown factor. We only know that despite his presence the BJP could not avert defeat earlier in Himachal Pradesh and most recently the ignominious rout in Karnataka. The other bit known about Modi is that the Congress too sees him as the best bet for itself – the only factor the party could hope to benefit from in its thoroughly discredited and declining current state is a grand anti-Modi polarisation. Yet the Modi brigade within the BJP and the vocal upwardly mobile middle class support base he seems to enjoy especially in North India are euphoric about the rise of Modi and virtually believe that Modi has already become the Prime Minister! Advani could perhaps be the best person to awaken them to the difference between an aspiring and an actual PM.

Regardless of the electoral future of the BJP/NDA under Modi, it is a fact that Modi has emerged as the most aggressive face of rightwing politics in India. He enjoys the backing of the RSS and the Sangh Parivar, but more importantly he is an organic product of the economics and politics of a neo-liberal policy regime. Advani may be nostalgic about the foundational moorings of the BJP, but there can be no denying the fact that Modi has emerged as the leader of the party that Advani and all other BJS/BJP stalwarts built through the years. India will have to grapple with the rise of this rabid rightwing and the answer to this looming corporate-fascist threat must come from a popular resurgence of the Left and other democratic forces.

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CPI(ML) Stand on CIC Ruling about Applicability of RTI for Recognised Political Parties

With regard to the CIC ruling bringing recognised national parties within the domain of RTI, the CPI(ML) Central Committee is of the considered view that there should be adequate transparency about the way activities of political parties are funded. But internal deliberations and decisions made by political parties belong to the domain of inner-party democracy and RTI cannot be used as an instrument to curb it. The norms of transparency and accountability applicable to governments that are elected by the people cannot exactly be applied to political parties which are constituted by members abiding by the programmes and objectives of the parties. Within the limits of distinction between governments and parties, the CPI(ML) is all for greater transparency about the funding and functioning of political parties.