Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani , a former Prime Minister and a former Deputy Prime Minister shared rare relationships which came to the fore with demise of the former. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani were political partners and colleagues for over seven decades.
Advani said that he and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has been named for the Bharat Ratna, shared a rare friendship, and that in their younger days, Vajpayee would often ride pillion on his scooter to have chaat at his favourite golgappawala in Connaught Place.
Political pundits said Vajpayee- Advani relationship will go down as one of the most remarkable partnerships in Indian political history. Three years apart in age, the two leaders have been the best of friends. They had deep respect for each other. And yet, they also were adversaries.
Both owed their loyalty to the RSS. They both had interests in literature, journalism and cinema. They joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh – when the RSS deputed some of its finest workers to the political party formed in 1951. They helped build the party organisation from scratch. Both spent time in prison during the Emergency.
The former prime minister along with his old-time associate LK Advani played a key role in the metamorphosis of Bhartiya Janata Party in the last four decades.
But the relationship – where both had their strengths, differed, yet shared common goals – was most clearly visible when Advani declared Vajpayee to be the party's PM candidate. In a way, a large part of BJP's growth was due to Advani – but he made way for Vajpayee for it was clear that the latter had greater national acceptability.
In May 2013, Advani had also released a blog on the BJP's website, describing Vajpayee as the country's most outstanding prime minister. Not only that, Advani had also written to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, listing out 10 reasons why Vajpayee should be conferred with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
He described Vajpayee as an "outstanding patriot. After the demise of Vajpayee, Advani, in a statement, called Vajpayee his "closest friend for over 65 years".
"Atal ji will be remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre and I had the privilege of working as his deputy for six years. As my senior, he always encouraged and guided me in every possible manner," he said.
(Featured image : India.com)