The veteran party leader’s remarks come amid attacks by BJP leaders like PM Modi on opposition parties using anti-national barbs in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrikes.
New Delhi, April, 4, 2019: Veteran BJP leader L K Advani said Thursday that his party has never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as “anti-national” or “enemies” but only as adversaries.
His views assume significance at a time when the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah have made the issue of national security a key plank for the general elections and have often accused its political rivals of speaking the language of India’s enemies like Pakistan.
Reacting to Advani’s views, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the veteran BJP leader has perfectly summed up the BJP’s “true essence” in his blog.
“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,” Modi said in a tweet.
Many BJP leaders have also often used terms like “anti-national” to target opposition leaders.
“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,” the 91-year-old leader wrote in a blog ahead of the BJP’s foundation day on April 6.
In a blog written almost five years after he wrote the last piece on its web page, Advani added, “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 is one of the BJP founders and its longest-serving president. — PTI