Photo feature: LK Advani, the man who led BJP from two seats to ruling at centre | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Photo feature: LK Advani, the man who led BJP from two seats to ruling at centre

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Feb 03, 2024 06:00 PM IST

LK Advani, a prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be conferred with ‘Bharat Ratna’ – India's highest civilian award.

Lal Krishna Advani, a prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former deputy prime minister, will be conferred with ‘Bharat Ratna’ – India's highest civilian award – as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

Born in Karachi, in present day Pakistan, on November 8, 1927, Advani through the years had served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest period since its inception in 1980. (Santosh Kumar Gupta / HT Archive)
Born in Karachi, in present day Pakistan, on November 8, 1927, Advani through the years had served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest period since its inception in 1980. (Santosh Kumar Gupta / HT Archive)

Concluding a parliamentary career spanning nearly three decades, Advani initially served as the home minister and later as the deputy prime minister in the cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004.

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Throughout the latter part of the 1980s and the 1990s, LK Advani dedicated himself to the task of establishing the BJP as a formidable national political force. His efforts manifested in the 1989 General Election, where the party rebounded from its 1984 performance of “two seats to an impressive 86 seats”. The BJP's position strengthened with 121 seats in 1992 and 161 in 1996, marking a significant turning point in Indian democracy.

Also Read | LK Advani's rath yatra turbocharged Ayodhya Ram Mandir movement, changed India's politics

In the 1996 elections, the Congress was unseated from its longstanding dominance, and the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, a historic milestone since independence.

A photo feature of LK Advani

Joining the precursor to the BJP, Jana Sangh, in 1951, LK Advani served in the Rajya Sabha from 1970 to 1989. Elected president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh in December 1972, he is seen (left to right) with BJP stalwarts Madanlal Khurana and V K Malhotra at a Jan Sangh protest on January 14, 1973.(Virendra Prabhakar/HT Photo)
Joining the precursor to the BJP, Jana Sangh, in 1951, LK Advani served in the Rajya Sabha from 1970 to 1989. Elected president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh in December 1972, he is seen (left to right) with BJP stalwarts Madanlal Khurana and V K Malhotra at a Jan Sangh protest on January 14, 1973.(Virendra Prabhakar/HT Photo)
At the inaugural BJP rally at Ramlila Maidan in 1980, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani are pictured together. Advani held the position of BJP's national president in three intervals - 1986-90, 1993-98, and 2004-2005.(Ajit Kumar/HT Archive)
At the inaugural BJP rally at Ramlila Maidan in 1980, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani are pictured together. Advani held the position of BJP's national president in three intervals - 1986-90, 1993-98, and 2004-2005.(Ajit Kumar/HT Archive)
In 1990, LK Advani initiated a rath yatra to advocate for the construction of the grand temple. Unfortunately, the journey was halted in Bihar when he was arrested in Samastipur on the orders of the then Lalu Prasad government.(HT Photo)
In 1990, LK Advani initiated a rath yatra to advocate for the construction of the grand temple. Unfortunately, the journey was halted in Bihar when he was arrested in Samastipur on the orders of the then Lalu Prasad government.(HT Photo)
During LK Advani's rath yatra in the national capital, he was accompanied by Narendra Modi, who was then serving as the Gujarat BJP's general secretary.(HT Photo)
During LK Advani's rath yatra in the national capital, he was accompanied by Narendra Modi, who was then serving as the Gujarat BJP's general secretary.(HT Photo)
Pictured with veteran leader LK Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dipika Chikhlia Topiwala, renowned for portraying Sita in the 1987 TV series Ramayan, is both an Indian actress and politician.
Pictured with veteran leader LK Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dipika Chikhlia Topiwala, renowned for portraying Sita in the 1987 TV series Ramayan, is both an Indian actress and politician.
An undated photo features Mulayam Singh Yadav alongside former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP leaders LK Advani and MM Joshi, and BSP chief Mayawati.
An undated photo features Mulayam Singh Yadav alongside former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP leaders LK Advani and MM Joshi, and BSP chief Mayawati.
In February 1986, LK Advani speaks at a rally. He assumed the presidency of the BJP that year, serving until 1991, securing a second term from 1993 to 1998, and a third term in 2004-2005. Credited with revitalising a party that won only two seats in the 1984 general elections, Advani played a key role in garnering support for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.(Santosh Kumar Gupta/HT Archive)
In February 1986, LK Advani speaks at a rally. He assumed the presidency of the BJP that year, serving until 1991, securing a second term from 1993 to 1998, and a third term in 2004-2005. Credited with revitalising a party that won only two seats in the 1984 general elections, Advani played a key role in garnering support for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.(Santosh Kumar Gupta/HT Archive)
At an iftar party on December 5, 2001, Farooq Abdullah is seen with Prime Minister AB Vajpayee on the left and LK Advani on the extreme right.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
At an iftar party on December 5, 2001, Farooq Abdullah is seen with Prime Minister AB Vajpayee on the left and LK Advani on the extreme right.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
An undated photo features (from left) Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Farooq Abdullah, Kalyan Singh, LK Advani, and Sushma Swaraj.(Girish Srivastav/ HT Archives)
An undated photo features (from left) Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Farooq Abdullah, Kalyan Singh, LK Advani, and Sushma Swaraj.(Girish Srivastav/ HT Archives)
At BJP's silver jubilee celebrations in Mumbai on December 28, 2005, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is pictured with BJP leaders LK Advani and the late Pramod Mahajan.(HT File)
At BJP's silver jubilee celebrations in Mumbai on December 28, 2005, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is pictured with BJP leaders LK Advani and the late Pramod Mahajan.(HT File)
During the Pakistan trip in 2005, LK Advani, then BJP president and leader of the opposition, is seen at the Katas Raj temple near Lahore. Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri had invited Advani to visit the country.(PTI)
During the Pakistan trip in 2005, LK Advani, then BJP president and leader of the opposition, is seen at the Katas Raj temple near Lahore. Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri had invited Advani to visit the country.(PTI)
In New Delhi in 2020, senior BJP leader LK Advani and others, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Champat Rai, Sadhvi Rithambara, Sakshi Maharaj, and Ram Vilas Vedanti, were acquitted by the CBI Court in the Babri Masjid case.(PTI)
In New Delhi in 2020, senior BJP leader LK Advani and others, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Champat Rai, Sadhvi Rithambara, Sakshi Maharaj, and Ram Vilas Vedanti, were acquitted by the CBI Court in the Babri Masjid case.(PTI)

Founded in 1980, the BJP did not do well in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections after Indira Gandhi's assassination, winning only two seats. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a prominent BJP leader, lost his election. In 1986, Advani took over as the BJP chief, and the party leaned towards Hindutva ideology.

On September 25, 1990, Advani began a ‘rath yatra’ from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in UP to support building the Ram temple. This happened amidst the uproar over the Mandal Commission report, which suggested quotas for OBCs in government jobs.

In 1991, Advani contested and won from Gandhinagar in Gujarat and New Delhi, though he chose to represent Gandhinagar. His last election was in 2014, standing for the same Gandhinagar seat. He has recently stepped back from active politics due to health issues.

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