LK Advani kept the suspense alive about his Prime Ministerial ambitions on Thursday on his 85th birthday with an ambivalent comment which would have left other hopefuls like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his own proteges Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley guessing.
A sprightly Advani, accompanied by his wife and daughter, today received a host of visitors who thronged his residence to wish him on his birthday.
That President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Leaders of Opposition in the two Houses and others wished him left little doubt about Advani's continued relevance in today's politics.
Advani also sprang a surprise when he made a comment about Prime Ministership even though no pointed question was posed to him on the issue.
Asked what his party had gifted him on his birthday, he said, "Party has given me so much all my life that when somebody says you have to become the Prime Minister, I say becoming Prime Minister is not more than what I have got from the party."
Party leaders were also taken aback by this sudden raking up of the Prime Ministerial candidate issue by the veteran leader though it is well accepted within the BJP that he still harbours such ambitions.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari also paid a visit to Advani's Prithviraj Road residence and spent around 15 minutes. The two are not on the best of terms these days as Advani is unhappy about Gadkari continuing in office despite charges of dubious funding of his Purti Group.
Gadkari had avoided visiting Advani earlier this week when BJP MP Ram Jethmalani demanded that the party president step down. But realising the signifance of the occasion and repeated mentions in the media that the two leaders are avoiding each other led Gadkari to meet Advani.