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BJP in Panic as Advani Leave the Party

On Monday, veteran politician Lal Krishna Advani resigned from top positions in the major opposition party a day after the selection of contentious leader Narendra Modi to head its election movement exposed deep gaps in the party. The Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been crippled by backbiting among leaders, with quite a few, including Advani, harboring dreams to become India's next prime minister. But political analysts say the party is in such confusion it will struggle to seize back power from the ruling Congress party, even though the latter is overwhelmed by corruption scandals and allegations of poor economic management. "For some time I have been finding it hard to reunite either with the present functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going," Advani wrote in his shock acquiescence letter seen by Reuters. On Sunday, senior party member Narendra Modi, long perceived as a possible prime minister, was elected to head the opposition's campaign in the approaching election, due by May 2014. Advani, 85, was broadly seen as the largest internal barrier to Modi's ambition to become prime minister if the BJP were to win the polls. But numerous inside the BJP fear that Modi is too discordant a figure to be the face of the party's national election campaign and will polarize voters, further undercutting the party's weak electoral position in many states. Party leaders hurried to Advani's house in an offer to change his mind, opening the possibility that he may only come back to the leadership after taking out concessions. BJP President Rajnath Singh said on Twitter he did not agree to the resignation letter.

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