NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders greeted L K Advani, considered the architect of the party’s rise as a major national force in the 90s, on his birthday on Tuesday.
Advani, the BJP’s longest serving president, turned 95 on Tuesday.
Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Advani’s residence here to greet him.
After visiting Advani, Modi tweeted, “His contribution to India’s growth is monumental. He is respected all across India for his vision and intellect. His role in building and strengthening the BJP is unparalleled. I pray for his long and healthy life”.
Home Minister Amit Shah said Advani, with his relentless efforts, strengthened the party organisation across the country and also made invaluable contribution to the country’s development while being part of the government.
Shah wished him good health and a long life.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari called Advani a source of inspiration.
Singh said Advani has made a very important contribution to the country, society and the party and is counted among the country’s tallest personalities.
Paying rich tributes to the veteran who groomed a generation of young leaders, BJP president J P Nadda described him as a leading light of Indian politics and a guide to party leaders. His life dedicated to the nation and the party is a source of inspiration to them, he said.
Born in 1927 in Karachi, now part of Pakistan, Advani joined the RSS at a young age and later worked for Jana Sangh where he made a mark with his organisational abilities.
He was a founding member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 and was its face along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for several decades.
A keen strategist, Advani’s ‘Rath Yatra’ in 1990 in support of building the Ram temple in Ayodhya at a site believed to be the birth place of Lord Ram is seen as an epochal turn in national politics, marking the unstoppable rise of the party to power.
While Vajpayee, the popular face of the party who enjoyed acceptability beyond its support base, became prime minister, Advani was home minister. He became deputy prime minister later.