One of the pole stars of the BJP was Pramod Mahajan, who was murdered by his own brother thereby creating a vacuum in the middle-level BJP leadership.
The BJP has not been able to play its role as an opposition party effectively and the Congress continues to take advantage of the schism within the BJP leadership and rule the country with just about 145 MPs. Advani has already declared himself a Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2009 elections.
He dominated the annual BJP session in Lucknow in December 2006. Both Atal Behari Vajpayee and Advani exhorted the cadres to get set for the state elections, especially U.P.
The BJP fared miserably in the U.P. elections, Mayawati formed the first BSP government enjoying total majority in the House. Atal Behari Vajpayee had projected Advani as the next Prime Minister of India. At 80 Advani still nourishes ambition to be PM; but he lacks the vision and the strength to carry the party and the other alliance partners with him.
He visited Nandigram, the hot trouble spot in West Bengal, and interacted with victims of CPM cadres, condemned their hooliganism and torture of those opposed to the project to set up a chemical plant with Indonesian collaboration.
The success in crucial elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in December, 07 confirmed his manoevring capability and the forging of unity within the party.
In Jan. 2008, Advani wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that Mr. Vajpayee should be honoured with the Bharat Ratna and thereby raising a storm of demand from Mayawati, communists & others. December 6, 07, marked 15th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid which was a major achievement of his political career.
The pipe dream of Advani of becoming India’s Prime Minister went up in flames when BJP performed poorly in the April-May 2009 Lok Sabha elections. BJP was routed and its performance fell below the 2004 mark. It is apparent that the country is just not prepared to accept him as Prime Minister, a fact which earlier contributed to the defeat of NDA in the 2004 elections.
The BJP now appears to be a party totally in slumber. There is lack of leadership and, “the center cannot hold”, the party is collapsing under its own weight. The impression gaining ground is that the party is now controlled by RSS whose head Bhagwat holds the keys to the future of the party. Nitin Gadkar has been appointed President of BJP at his be host. He is making an earnest effort to reform the party.