LK Advani, who was not given a seat by BJP citing age as a factor has expressed his disappointment and feelings in his blog titled ‘Nation First, Party Next and Self Last’ . In his blog he said that the party never regarded his critics as “enemies” or “anti-nationals “. In the piece, he urged the party to “look back, look ahead and look within” and stressed on “democracy and democratic traditions” within.
Party president Amit Shah has decided to contest from the BJP veteran’s long held seat of Gandhinagar . Mr. Advani who was the deputy Prime Minister of Vajpayee government had held the Gandhinagar in Gujarat for six terms and this is the first time he is not going to the parliament .
“Defense of democracy and democratic traditions, both within the Party and in the larger national setting, has been the proud hallmark of the BJP,” Mr Advani wrote.
“The essence of Indian democracy is respect for diversity and freedom of expression. Right from its inception, the BJP has never regarded those who disagree with us politically as our ‘enemies’, but only as our adversaries.”
He said similarly, “in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level.”
The BJP had always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness and robustness of all democratic institutions, including the media, Mr Advani reminded, referring to the Emergency.
Sources said that Mr.Advani was hurt more than the idea that he would not be in parliament for the first time in decades, but that the emissary of the news was not BJP president Amit Shah but a lower functionary.
He said elections are “also an occasion for honest introspection by all the stakeholders in Indian democracy – political parties, mass media, authorities conducting the election process and, above all, the electorate.”