New Delhi: As the BJP grapples with deepening internal fissures, the launch of a book on L K Advani on Tuesday saw party president Nitin Gadkari lauding the hard work put in by him and other veterans and said it helped people like him "reach the top".

Differences between Advani and Gadkari came out in the open recently when Advani made a thinly-veiled attack on the party President in his blog as he called for "introspection" within the party over its current state.

Though Advani was himself not present, other leaders like Gadkari, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, former party chief Rajnath Singh and senior leader Jaswant Singh had gathered at the launch of a book on the life of NDA working chairman.

Advani had stayed away as according to the organisers, he felt it would be "embarrassing" to attend the launch of a book on him.

"Good days are when the party is in power. But he was there when people were not willing to contest on Jan Sangh ticket...he rode against the wave with leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It helped people like me to reach the top (in party heirarchy)...had they not worked so hard, we would not have witnessed this day (when BJP is a major political force)," Gadkari said.

Advani's comments on his blog had lent credence to speculation that he may have been unhappy with Gadkari, who was recently given an unprecedented second term in office, the results of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and the manner in which some corrupt ministers of the BSP were welcomed by the BJP.

Swaraj said Advani was a like a banyan tree under whom several people have found shelter.

"This is his personality...he has helped juniors grow. He is unlike those who feel insecure," she said.

(Agencies)

Latest news from India News Desk