Late on Nov 26, some time after the attacks began, Advani called up Singh and assured him of the BJP’s support to the government in tackling the crisis. To be fair, it was Manmohan who mooted the idea that they both travel together to Mumbai the next day, a suggestion that Advani readily agreed to.
Advani had cancelled the planned birthday celebrations of his wife and had decided to fly out to Mumbai along with Manmohan Singh.
Barely hours before they were to take off from Delhi, Advani was informed from the government that since the rescue operations were still on, it would be wise to put off the trip by a day. The Opposition leader politely declined on grounds that he is scheduled to address several meetings in Rajasthan which is due for polls later this week and therefore was going to Mumbai himself.
But by late afternoon, Manmohan Singh changed his mind and decided to fly the same day in the company of — who else — Sonia Gandhi. Upon which Advani who was already on his way to Mumbai is reported to have informed the government of his readiness to meet the PM at any predetermined spot in Mumbai. According to Advani, who was keen on a public show of unity, he was assured he will be informed about the venue and time for a meet- up.
There was no further word from the government.
The petty politics ensured that Manmohan and Advani weren’t ready yet to put on display the spirit that unites India.