A leader of India's main opposition party has resigned from all party positions a day after the party appointed a controversial Hindu ideologue to lead its campaign in national elections next year.

Lal Krishna Advani, a founding member of the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party, resigned from all official posts Monday to protest the elevation of Narendra Modi.

Modi is likely to be the party's choice for prime minister if the party wins in 2014.

Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state, is accused of doing little to stop anti-Muslim riots in the state in 2002 which left more than 1,000 dead.

Advani was India's home minister and deputy prime minister when the BJP was in power in the late 1990s. He has long cherished dreams of becoming prime minister.