LK Advani denies infighting in BJP, says it's not a one-man party

NDTV | 10 March 2014

New Delhi: Senior BJP leaders have sought to quell reports of deep fissures in the party's top leadership less than a month before general elections. LK Advani has denied saying that the BJP has become a "one-man party" and Murli Manohar Joshi has said he will accept like "a disciplined soldier" any decision that his party takes on who to field from his constituency, Varanasi.

Mr Advani, 86, said he had been misquoted recently as having voiced the worry that the BJP has become a "one-man party," interpreted as a reference to Narendra Modi. "There is no infighting within the party... BJP is not a one-man party, this party belongs to every member and every individual is important in this party," an irate Mr Advani asserted.

Dr Joshi, the 80-year-old sitting MP from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh has termed as "media creation" reports that he is upset at the possibility that the BJP might field prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from his seat.

"The decision is taken by the parliamentary board and the meeting will take place on 13th... every disciplined soldier accepts it... I will say what I have to in front of the board," the former union minister said, denying that his supporters have gone on an over-drive to plaster Varanasi with his posters in a move to pre-empt his being shifted out of the constituency he won in 2009.

"The party would take a decision which will neither dent the prestige of our PM candidate nor compromise the party's winning chances," Dr Joshi said.

Sources said Dr Joshi, at an election meeting of top leaders on Saturday, had brought up the intense speculation on Mr Modi contesting the national elections from Varanasi and had asked party president Rajnath Singh why the BJP had not issued a clarification if there was no decision yet.

Senior leader Sushma Swaraj too denied fireworks at the meeting. She refuted reports that she had left the meeting midway, asserting that discussions had spilled beyond schedule and that she left only because she had a flight to catch.