LK Advani Calls for ‘Honest Introspection’ Ahead Of Polls

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New Delhi:Claiming that the guiding principle of his life has been “Nation first, party next, self last”, BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday said the saffron party had never regarded those with a different political stand as its “enemies” or “anti-national”.

The BJP veteran, one of the party’s founder members, has been smarting since he was shafted and BJP president Amit Shah decided to contest from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, a seat Mr Advani, 91, has held for six terms.

“Defense of democracy and democratic traditions, both within the Party and in the larger national setting, has been the proud hallmark of the BJP,” Mr Advani wrote.

“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 said similarly, “in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level.”

The BJP had always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness and robustness of all democratic institutions, including the media, Mr Advani reminded, referring to the Emergency.

“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 party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level,” he wrote in the blog ahead of the BJP’s foundation day on April 6.

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