There are two ways of looking at the Margdarshak Mandal. It can either be seen as an elite body to keep BJP on the right path or it can also be considered a means to ensure the ageing lot has a respectable place to stay with their head held high.
Sidelining of LK Advani has been a popular point which has cropped up many times. Butmore than anything else LK Advani for the second time in many days has expressed his concern on the way in which Parliament is functioning. In a more terse reaction he has said that he feels like quitting Parliament, given the present situation in the temple of democracy.
He said so as a reaction to a Trinamool MP who actually asked the visibly irate 89-year-old BJP leader if his health was okay.
Whether anyone wins or loses the real loser in this whole mess is the Parliament itself said the BJP patriarch LK Advani.
The Parliament has been unable to transact proper business this winter session. It has been a washout.
This is not the first time that Advani has been upset during this session. Last week, he expressed deep distress over the way the Lok Sabha proceedings were being conducted. He said neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister was running the House.
Advani was heard telling home minister Rajnath Singh that leaders from all parties, including the Congress, should talk to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan to resolve the logjam.
The BJP leader said the House should debate demonetisation.
BJP patriarch L.K. Advani notably has described the unending disruption as “disgraceful” and demanded to know who was running the house.
Advani called Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and asked who exactly was in charge in the house.
The opposition has been demanding a debate on demonetisation with voting.
Lok Sabha witnessed noisy disruptions since the second day of the winter session that started on November 16.
The gridlock has left the BJP old guard fuming. After the BJP veterans Murali Manohar Joshi and L K Advani, old timer Lok Sabha MP Shanta Kumar has jumped the gun by comparing the pandemonium to street-corner fights and sloganeering.
Incidentally, Advani, Joshi and Kumar are the elder troika of the BJP in the Lok Sabha.
Notably the setting up of the Margdarshak Manda from Day 1 has been widely seen as
a not so covert way of keeping Advani and Joshi out of any decision making body.
Neither Advani nor Joshi shared a very comfortable relationship with Modi even before he became the prime minister.
Advani famously skipped the Goa national executive when Modi was declared chief of the party’s central election committee then.
During the Bihar polls though LK Advani went out of his way to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the Margdarshak Mandal had been unsparing after the defeat of BJP saying there were clearly no lessons learnt after the Delhi debacle with the Mahagathbandhan having stopped the Modi juggernaut.
Reports have quoted Govindacharaya as saying that Advani is eyeing the President’s chair which will be vacated in 2017.
In the past few years after the resounding mandate BJP won to gain entry into the corridors of power, Advani a key architect of the BJP’s Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya, has found his wings considerably clipped . He enjoys a emotive and moral appeal within the party. In the run-up to the 2014 polls, Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial candidature was considered incomplete for months, till Advani publicly ratified it.
The big blow to Advani came when years back he was removed from the BJP’s parliamentary board and included in the Margdarshak Mandal.
The Margdarshak Mandal as the name suggests had constantly tried to guide the party with some pep talk once in a while over many a matter revolving around the BJP.
Some of the old guard perturbed by the 75 year old age bar in BJP said the government had declared people over the age of 75 to be “brain dead”.