‘LK Advani sums up true essence of BJP’, says PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in reply to Veteran BJP leader LK Advani’s blog said, “Advani Ji perfectly sums up the true essence of BJP, most notably the guiding Mantra of ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last.’ Proud to be a BJP Karyakarta and proud that greats like LK Advani Ji have strengthened it.”

Ahead of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP)s foundation day LK  Advani wrote a blog titled “Nation First, Party Next, Self Last”, in which he said that the party never regarded his critics as “enemies” or “anti-nationals”. He urged his party to “look back, look ahead and look within” and stresses on “democracy and democratic traditions” within the party.

“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. 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, Advani wrote.

The 91-year-old BJP leader was speaking out for the first time after the party announced the decision to field BJP president Amit Shah from Advani’s traditional Gandhinagar seat, a seat Advani has held for six terms.

Advani also thanked Gandhinagar for electing him to the Lok Sabha six times since 1991. “I take this opportunity to convey my most sincere gratitude to the people of Gandhinagar, who have elected me to the Lok Sabha six times since 1991. Their love and support has always overwhelmed me,” Advani added.

Advani wrote that the “defense of democracy and democratic traditions” both within the party and in the larger national setting, “has been the hallmark of the BJP”.

“BJP has always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness and robustness of all our democratic institutions, including the media. Electoral reforms, with special focus on transparency in political and electoral funding, which is so essential for a corruption-free polity, has been another priority for our Party,” he wrote.

“The triad of Satya (truth), Rashtra Nishtha (dedication to the Nation) and Loktantra(democracy, both within and outside the Party) guided the struggle-filled evolution of my Party. The sum total of all these values constitutes Sanskritik Rashtravad (Cultural Nationalism) and Su-Raj (good governance), to which my Party has always remained wedded,” Advani said.

Advani further said that the guiding principle of his life has been “Nation First, Party Next, Self last” and that he had tried to adhere to the principle throughout his life and will continue to do so.