New Delhi, March 22: L.K. Advani today called
on Sonia Gandhi and gifted her a copy of his autobiography,
possibly picking Holi to bridge a 10-year communication
Two days after the Congress stayed away from the book release,
he and his wife dropped in at 10 Janpath and exchanged pleasantries
with Sonia over sweets. Sources said politics did not figure
in the 15-minute chat.
Political tongues are wagging overtime on what could have
prompted the BJP leader to “break the ice”.
Since Sonia became Congress chief, the two have come across
as not being on the best of terms or as rivals ready to
snipe at each other.
Advani also presented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a copy
of the book. But the visit did not cause a flutter since
Advani, as leader of the Opposition, has been interacting
Advani apparently sought an appointment with Sonia saying
he wanted to gift her My Country My Life. Political observers
said the book might just have been an “excuse”;
Advani could be trying to redeem his “image”
after his elevation as the NDA’s Prime Minister candidate.
Some said the gesture marked a “change” in
Advani’s political outlook, though it wasn’t
clear what exactly they meant. Others said he could be trying
to increase his “acceptability”.
Former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee shared a cordial relationship
The freeze in communication between Advani and the UPA
chairperson has often been talked of in political circles.
A section of Congress leaders has said an informal channel
with the BJP would facilitate national consensus on issues
like the nuclear deal.
In a recent interview, Advani had said it was “sad”
he did not have any communication with Sonia and the “strain”
was reflecting on his relationship with Singh.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Advani’s
“spontaneous gesture was met in equal spirit”
“This is the interesting thing in a democracy —
they are political adversaries though they may not be personal
enemies,” he told PTI.
Advani has made critical references to Sonia in his book,
including her foreign-origin controversy and the Bofors
He has accused her of “active and irrefutable collusion”
in covering up Ottavio Quattrocchi’s role and said
“it is devoid of any political morality and unbecoming
of a person aspiring to hold highest executive office in