India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L. K. Advani speaks during a news conference in the northern city of Chandigarh December 30, 2007. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA)India’s 80-year-old opposition leader says he needs help on “money matters”.

Not only does his wife pay all the bills at home, but he asked business leaders on Tuesday for help in drawing up a new economic model which does not ape the West.

He also had some strong words for the Congress-led government, accusing it of failing to control inflation and failing to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

When Advani’s own coalition government was in power, it followed pretty similar policies, except with more emphasis on privatisation of state-run companies. But it lost power partly for claiming that India was shining, when poverty was still rampant.

So it’s fair enough to look for economically sustainable ideas to help India’s poor, in fact it is probably essential to address widespread poverty more aggressively.