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BJP critics are not 'enemies', Advani breaks silence

April 6, 2019

Veteran BJP leader L K Advani, who has been left out of the ruling BJP general election race, has finally broken his silence. In a blog, titled, Nation First, Party Next, Self Last, Advani said that the party has never regarded its critics as "enemies" or "anti-nationals". He also said it was high time the BJP took time to "look back, look ahead and look within". He also emphasized on the importance of "democracy and democratic traditions" within.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, responded to the Advani's blog in a tweet, saying that the blog expressed the true essence of the party.

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. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Advani, one of the BJP's founder members, is said to be upset after he was set aside in the upcoming elections. His seat in Gandhinagar in Gujarat has been taken by the BJP president Amit Shah. Shah will be contesting from there now. 91-year-old Advani has held the seat for six terms.

In his blog, Advani also said that the "defense of democracy and democratic traditions, both within the Party and in the larger national setting, has been the proud hallmark of the BJP. 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."

He added, "in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national." Talking about the Emergency, he said the BJP has always fought for the protection of independence and the integrity of all democratic institutions.

The BJP has dropped many leaders of the basis of its ban on leaders of age 75 years and above. In 2014, both Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi had been made exceptions.

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