NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi described LK Advani as a “scholar, statesman and one of India’s most respected leaders” in a series of tweets on Friday, wishing the BJP veteran on his 92nd birthday. He also met the former Deputy Prime Minister at his home and greeted him with flowers.
“For Advani Ji, public service has always been associated with values. Not once has he compromised on the core ideology. When it came to safeguarding our democracy, he was at the forefront. As a Minister, his administrative skills are universally lauded,” PM Modi tweeted.
Mr Advani “toiled for decades” to give shape and strength to the BJP, said the Prime Minister. “If over the years, our party has emerged as a dominant pole of Indian politics, it is because of leaders like Advani Ji and the selfless Karyakartas he groomed for decades,” he wrote.
Scholar, statesman and one of the most respected leaders, India will always cherish the exceptional contribution of Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji towards empowering our citizens. On his birthday, I convey my greetings to respected Advani Ji and pray for his long and healthy life.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 8, 2019
Mr Advani was born on 8 November in 1927 in Karachi in undivided India. After partition, his family moved to India.
He is a founder member of the BJP along with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died last year. He was also the BJP’s longest serving president.
Mr Advani, who took out a rathyatra to campaign for a Ram temple at Ayodhya, is credited with the BJP’s rise from a two-seat party in 1984 to a leading political force in the country.
A five-time Lok Sabha MP, Mr Advani did not contest the national election earlier this year.
The BJP patriarch, a member of the party’s “Margdarshak Mandal” or mentors’ panel since 2014, has been away from active politics in the past few years.