The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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'Divine' duty drives Advani

Ranchi, Nov. 26: BJP president L.K. Advani described his party as 'really the chosen instrument of the divine' ordained to 'take our country out of its present problems and to lofty heights of all-round achievements'.

What was meant as pep talk for the members of the party national executive and the cadre at large was taken to new heights of political and moral rhetoric by Advani. He began his concluding remarks by alluding to the power struggle in the leadership's second rung that culminated in Uma Bharti's suspension.

'Perhaps, our critics were expecting that these negative developments would cast their shadow on the Ranchi meet and that some negative news would emanate'

Crowing that nothing of the sort happened, he said it was the BJP's 'commitment' to its 'lofty goals' that enabled it to put the past behind and 'forge ahead with determination'.

Patting himself for having chaired an eventless executive ' unlike the Mumbai one that had the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-Narendra Modi row as the backdrop ' Advani said: 'What struck me about our deliberations on diverse subjects... is that these' were united by a common thread of our concern for India and her people.

'And that common thread was also the belief that the BJP is really the chosen instrument of the divine to take our country out of its present problems and to lofty heights of all-round achievements.'

Although he spoke in Hindi, the sentence on divinity was said in English.

Asked at a news conference later if the implication that the BJP was divinely ordained to have the sole right to rule did not have a medieval flavour, he said: 'Divinity is not a medieval concept. We could have called it destiny. Only atheists can object to it.'

To a query if democracy and elections were relevant if the BJP thought divine intervention would decide who would rule, he said: 'Government is not chosen by divinity.'

As long as every BJP worker was aware of the 'loftiness of our party's goals lighting up our path', the party would bounce back stronger, he said.

Sounding more like an evangelist than a hard-nosed politician, Advani ' who has actively championed a 'fair trial' for the Kanchi seer ' said: 'When an individual or an organisation is driven by a higher purpose, lower considerations cannot succeed in taking hold of that individual or organisation.'

The 'higher purpose' was defined as 'something that is inspired by our ambitions and desires for our nation'.

After the sermon, he outlined the nitty-gritty of the BJP's programmes and tasks ahead. Advani said the party would be engaged in silver jubilee celebrations in 2005. Its tasks are: making a breakthrough in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala; recovering lost ground in Uttar Pradesh; reaching out to sections out of the loop; and making the BJP a party of good governance.

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