Udayavni Special

Yogi Adityanath Agrees With Advani on ‘Anti-national’ Tag But With a Rider


PTI, Apr 9, 2019, 4:49 PM IST

Lucknow: Days after veteran BJP leader LK Advani remarked that the party has never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as “anti-nationals”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Tuesday said when parties like the Congress take the side of “deshdrohis”, they should be exposed. The chief minister also said there was nothing wrong in what the veteran leader had said and that “Advanji was a ‘maargdarshak’ (mentor) of the BJP”.

In a blog post, titled ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last’, Advani said, “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 91-year-old leader said in his post that came ahead of the BJP’s foundation day on April 6.

Under Advani’s leadership several people have worked and “I think that Advaniji has not said anything wrong,” Adityanath said in an exclusive interview to PTI. “The BJP has never considered its political opponents as enemies. But, when parties like the Congress or any other party, directly indulge in taking the side of ‘deshdrohis’, they should be exposed before the people. I feel that we (in BJP) are doing this job,” he said.

The comments by Advani were seen as a message to the BJP leadership that has been alleging that those raising questions over the Balakot air strike in Pakistan were working against national interests. When asked to comment on the remarks made by the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, on Advani’s views, Adityanath parried a direct reply, saying, “The Shiv Sena is our oldest ally and, even today, it is standing firm with the BJP to contest elections in Maharashtra along with us.” The Shiv Sena on April 6 had sought to know the reason behind Advani’s remarks.

On Advani and other senior leaders being denied tickets in the Lok Sabha elections, the chief minister said, “The BJP has decided that politics is for values and ideals and for this an age limit has been decided.” “I think that for democracy and for political parties, this is a good indicator. It will be good, if all the political parties adhere to this, thereby strengthening India’s democracy,” Adityanath said.

Several BJP leaders have themselves adhered to the age limit by voluntarily announcing that they will not be contesting the elections, he said. “This includes Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, (Murli Manohar) MM Joshi, former Union minister Kalraj Mishra, Shanta Kumar and Hukumdev Narayan Yadav. I feel that this is a good sign for the democracy,” Adityanath said. Advani has been replaced by BJP president Amit Shah in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat.

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