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BJP Future - 7
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Sudheendra Kulkarni, a key aide of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani and previously of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has ended his association with the party over "ideological differences".

He, however, maintained that his decision had nothing to do with the expulsion of Jaswant Singh over his book Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-Capt M Kumar+Aug 23 2009, 02:56 PM-->QUOTE(Capt M Kumar @ Aug 23 2009, 02:56 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Sudheendra Kulkarni, a key aide of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani and previously of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has ended his association with the party over "ideological differences".

He, however, maintained that his decision had nothing to do with the expulsion of Jaswant Singh over his book Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.  <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->


Getting rid of Sudeendra Kulkarni is the best thing that ever happened to BJP
Hope the criticism of the party continues until Advani, Rajnath, Sushma et al are expelled.
Advani's Jinnah speech was penned by Kulkarni.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Key Advani aide quits BJP
PTI | New Delhi

Already battered by internal wranglings and the aftermath of Jaswant Singh’s expulsion, BJP’s image on Sunday suffered a further knock when Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close aide of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, severed his links with the party on grounds of serious ‘ideological differences’.

Though he sought to make it that he had decided to dissociate himself from the party and had communicated it to Advani sometime back and that it had nothing to do with the action against Jaswant Singh, he described the expulsion as ‘graceless and baseless’.

The 52-year-old Kulkarni, a former journalist and a one-time CPI(M) card holder, held there was ‘no essential difference’ between what Jaswant Singh wrote on Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his book and what Advani had penned down in his book with regard to the Pakistan founder.

An erstwhile speech-writer of Advani, Kulkarni said he was ending his ‘active association’ with the party as he wanted to have the ‘freedom to express’ his views.

“I have, after 13 years of being a full-time activist of BJP, decided to end my active association with the party. I continue, however, to be its well-wisher,” he said.

When asked what prompted his decision, Kulkarni said, “I have concluded that I cannot make any meaningful contribution to the party any more as I have ideological differences with it as it stands today.

“I want to have the freedom to express my views and be sincere to my convictions. At the same time, I respect the discipline of the party and, therefore, I have stepped out.”

After BJP’s debacle in the Lok Sabha poll, Kulkarni had been critical of the party’s election campaign strategy and management as also Varun Gandhi’s hate speech. He had incurred the wrath of the RSS when he wrote about Sangh Parivar ‘interference’ in BJP’s functioning.

In a newspaper article yesterday, Kulkarni had been highly critical of the way Jaswant Singh was expelled from BJP at its Shimla conclave. On a specific question on his ideological differences, he said, “I cannot elaborate on my ideological differences with the party at this stage.”

He said, “When you have differences, the right thing is to step out, which is what I have done.”

On whether his step was triggered by the manner in which Singh was removed, he said, “I would like to clarify that my decision has nothing to do with his removal. I had taken this decision several weeks back and communicated it to Advaniji.”

Reacting to his decision, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Kulkarni was not a member of the BJP since 2005. “He was associated with election-related work. The whole election mechanism was wound up immediately after the Lok Sabha polls by party president Rajnath Singh,” he said.

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Kulkarni’s dissociation from the BJP or its leaders was not going to have any effect on the party. “Kulkarni is neither a member of BJP or an office-bearer of the party,” Naqvi said.

Another BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj described Kulkarni as a ‘valuable colleague’ but said, “If Kulkarni feels that he is uncomfortable in BJP and he has taken a decision to leave the party, well, that is his decision.”

Kulkarni, an IIT graduate and a columnist, was national secretary of BJP when Advani was the party president. However, he resigned in 2005 in the wake <b>the controversial statement made by Advani in Pakistan, where he described Mohammad Ali Jinnah as ‘secular’. That speech of Advani was reportedly written by Kulkarni.</b>

Jaswant calls on Vajpayee

New Delhi: Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh ..<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Arun Shourie attacks BJP leadership</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) The simmering crisis in BJP deepened today with senior leader Arun Shourie attacking the party leadership,<b> saying that even raising questions within the party forum was being dubbed as "indiscipline" and that some leaders at the top were behaving as 'Humpty Dumpty'.</b>

"Even raising these questions (within party forum) is becoming indiscipline," the former Union Minister told NDTV while responding to a question on expulsion of Jaswant Singh.

Without naming anybody, <b>he said there were people in the party who have "brought about this situation and brought the party to this pass. They are the ones who are hurting the party."</b>

<b>Shourie said there are some people in BJP who have been "planting stories for the last five years against each one of us, including Mr (L K) Advani and including Rajnath Singh in the press by six journalists".</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Six journalist, 2-3 are from Pioneer. One is Punj and other is Mitra. Gupta of IE.
He is pointing towards Arun Jaitely and Sushma Swaraj.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Shourie taunts Rajnath, BJP</b>
Kumar Uttam | New Delhi
<b>Expulsion likely after calling party a kati patang, top leaders ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘Alice in Blunderland’</b>

The BJP was in the thick of yet another crisis on Monday with former Union Minister Arun Shourie slamming the leadership and asking the RSS to take control of the party to rescue it from those have turned it into a “private company”. .

<b>Shourie’s outburst left the BJP leadership squirming as he called the party a kati patang and its president Rajnath Singh “Alice in Blunderland” and “Humpty Dumpty”.</b>

Coming within days of expulsion of veteran Jaswant Singh, Shourie defiance has added to the problems of the BJP, and left it with few options but to act against him. Speculation was rife about his imminent expulsion, which was also indicated by party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy. <b>“He wants to become a martyr. We will give him a chance to become popular,”</b> Rudy said.

Soon after the telecast of Shourie’s damning interview, Rajnath Singh held an hour-long meeting with party’s organisational secretary and<b> RSS pointsman Ramlal. Rajnath also spoke to LK Adavni, Arun Jaitley and RSS leader Suresh Soni and discussed disciplinary action against Shourie.</b>

<b>The journalist-turned-politician, who had been embarrassing the party by raising “uncomfortable questions” through letters, newspaper articles and TV interviews, said even raising questions within the party forum was being dubbed as “indiscipline” and dared the party to act against him.</b>

In an interview to a private news channel, Shourie said, <b>“If you want to call this (his action) indiscipline, ok, call it. You want to be Humpty Dumpty and make words mean what you say and act, then I presume you already have in your mind to act against me or anybody, so act.”</b>

Daring the party to act against him, Shourie, who was upset over the ‘shameless and baseless’ expulsion of Jaswant Singh, told NDTV: “<b>Even raising these questions (within party forum) is becoming indiscipline”. He went on to add: “Those who have brought about this situation and brought about the party to this pass, and they are the fellows who are hurting the party’s interest. They were planting stories for the past five years against each other, including Advani and Rajnath Singh. Is this discipline?” Though he stopped short of taking names he dropped enough hints about his targets.</b>

The former Union Minister said the BJP took refuge in the name of Sardar Patel to target Jaswant and his book so that LK Advani was insulated of all attacks that could have been unleashed on him for his remarks on Jinnah.

“<b>They (BJP leadership) acted without even reading the book. Nowhere in his write up has Jaswant written something offending Patel. But his (Patel) name was invoked to deflect all possible attack away from Advani, who had called Jinnah a great man,” </b>Shourie told reporters here.

Later, talking to reporters, <b>he suggested a complete cleanup of the BJP and quoted Mao Zedong to drive home his point. “Bombard the headquarters. Clean up everybody from the top. Bring ten-fifteen people from the States who are competent, honest and dedicated and reconstruct immediately.”</b>

<b>He said the party was being run like a private company in which top leaders were indulging in mutual projection and mutual protection. Leaders like BC Khanduri and Vasundhara Raje were being asked to resign as part of accountability for the defeat but the top leaders would not resign because they have already “</b>owned up responsibility”.

Asked whether Advani should go, Shourie said removal of one leader is not enough. <b>“My prescription is jhatka (one swift execution) not halal (slow execution). One or two is not enough... saare ke saare (lock, stock and barrel). The current leadership cannot be expected to change the situation....There should be total transformation.”</b>

Invoking the RSS, Shourie said that the Sangh has been too liberal over the happenings in the BJP.<b> “RSS should crack the whip...When they come in, there will be other consequences. I have been pleading with them to keep an eagle-eye on the conduct of individuals,”</b> he said.

Referring to Jaswant Singh’s statement that Advani prevented Vajpayee from acting against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,<b> he said that on a Prime Minister’s flight to Goa in 2002 it was decided that Modi would be asked to step down</b>.

In the meeting, Modi also agreed but before he could say something there was an “orchestrated chorus” that he should not resign. Then Advani said it was already late for the public meeting and that the issue could be decided the next day and it was left at that.

Shourie is a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP from Uttar Pradesh and his term expires in July next year. Given the strength of the BJP’s legislature party in the State Assembly, it was unlikely that Shourie would have got a re-nomination.

A meeting of the office bearers to finalise the agenda for the national executive that evening witnessed high drama when Jaswant tried to circulate Shourie’s letter and was stopped from doing so by his senior colleagues. Shourie later created a hullabaloo at the national executive meeting and subsequently wrote a series of articles which, party leaders believe, were a direct attack on Advani, Rajnath and Jaitley.

Senior BJP leaders say Shourie’s remarks were “unacceptable” and he has refused to mend ways even after being given sufficient time. “Shourie was a distinguished journalist and now a politician. Perhaps he wants to return to his profession. We do not have anything more to offer to him,” BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

Shourie is a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP from Uttar Pradesh and his term expires in July next year. Given the strength of the BJP’s legislature party in the State Assembly, it was unlikely that Shourie would have got a re-nomination. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>BJP admits need to articulate ideology before masses</b>
August 21st, 2009 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS Tell a Friend -

Bharatiya Janata Party Shimla, Aug 21 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said it would soon have an action plan for its revival and admitted that its ideology of “cultural nationalism” needed to be articulated clearly for the expansion of its geographical and social base.
“We will come out with a future action plan, you can call it the road ahead, on the basis of suggestions during the three-day chintan baithak (introspection session). The larger goal would be the social and geographical expansion of the party,” BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters after the meet ended.

He said he would shortly convene a meeting of all party general secretaries and other leaders to prepare the action plan that would be presented at the national executive meeting expected to be held in September or October.

Rajnath Singh said it was unanimously felt during the discussions that to expand the party’s social base, the BJP should ensure better participation of women, weaker sections, the poor, farmers, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, in the party and the government.
The BJP chief said the party was committed to its ideology of “cultural nationalism and integral humanism. It is both comprehensive and inclusive, where there is no scope for discrimination between individuals”.
“We realised that this ideology needs to be articulated in a simple and easy way to the people,” Rajnath Singh said.

<b>‘Varun speeches, Modi’s ‘budhiya’ remarks caused BJP defeat’</b>
August 20th, 2009

SHIMLA - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday admitted that hate speeches by Varun Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s sarcastic remarks on the Congress party during the campaign were among the reasons for its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

A senior party leader, who is here for a three-day party meeting to introspect on what ails it, told IANS: “The speeches of Modi and Varun Gandhi during the elections were among the reasons for the defeat in the elections.” He was referring to the discussions in the closed door meeting.

Modi had made fun of the Congress calling it a ‘budhiya (aging woman),’ while Varun Gandhi’s incendiary speeches against the Muslim community sent shock waves across the country.

The three-day chintan baithak (introspection meeting) of the party that began Wednesday also discussed threadbare a report of a committee headed by party vice-president Bal Apte, the BJP leader said, wishing anonymity.

“Various reasons for the defeat like personalised attacks on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, lopsided campaigning, projection of weak and shady candidates, and in-fighting among top leaders were discussed in detail,” the leader said.

“Failure of the party to motivate the youth, debacle in the Delhi assembly elections and Varun’s hate speech were also the reasons for the party’s defeat,” the leader added.

He said the party’s humiliating defeat in Delhi before the parliamentary elections gave wrong signals to the masses.

However, senior party leader Arun Jaitley denied that such a report (by the Apte Committee) existed or was discussed at the session.

“I am categorically stating that I have not seen such a report. Even my friend Ananth Kumar (who was sitting next to him during the press conference) has not seen (the report),” he told reporters here.

He refused to reply to the media’s queries on the chintan baithak.

“I am not here to clarify on party’s stand against expelled leader Jaswant Singh. The session is to review the general election results and to draw the roadmap for the party,” he said.

However, Jaitley said party president Rajnath Singh would brief the media on the concluding day Friday about the discussions in the introspection meeting.

The three-day session began with summary expulsion of Jaswant Singh, just two days after the release of his controversial book “Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence”.

Jaswant Singh's expulsion: Why the BJP was right
August 25, 2009 15:40 IST

While political pundits wax eloquence on Jaswant Singh's [ Images ] unorthodox expose of Mohammed Ali Jinnah applauding it for its scholastic content, and decry the Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] for its lack of intellectual laxity, they fail to comprehend political underpinnings of this episode that prompted Jaswant Singh's expulsion. It was not purely an action based on ideological aberrancy. Neither was it meant to be a slap in the face of intellectual discourse. It was an act of masterful political gamesmanship which with one stroke nullified the far reaching ramifications that such unbridled laudation of its bete noire by one of its own had the potential to unleash in the arena of Indian politics.

The previous BJP-Jinnah episode courtesy L K Advani [ Images ] has proven to be an edifying exercise for the BJP in this present dilemma. The ideological consternation that it had engendered among its rank and file and the consequent demoralising effect on its doctrinaire cadres had to be avoided in the future. With surgical precision that was quick and decisive, the canker in its midst was removed leaving no scope for prolonged self mutilating dialogue and its consequent deleterious effect on party unity. Hence the expulsion.

The second raison d'etre for this apparently hasty act was the protection of its electoral turf, its nationalistic plank. For the ideologically challenged Congress party, this recurring faux pas by BJP stalwarts was a gift on a platter they could not refuse. Congress party leaders went to town gleefully dubbing the BJP as the Bharatiya Jinnah Party satirically identifying the BJP with its nemesis, the patriarch of Pakistan. Apart from the humiliation of this affront, there was a distinct danger of the Congress usurping its nationalistic space and denting its hard earned epithet of being the quintessential patriotic party. Jaswant Singh's rustication was meant to neutralise this barb that threatened to demolish the very precepts of the BJP's existence.

Further down the list was the inhibitory effect of this punitive redress on dissidence in the party, a stern message to Vasundra Raje Scindia outlining her possible fate if she persisted with her recalcitrance despite her senior status.

Jaswant Singh's cardinal sin in this brouhaha was also the poor timing of his book release. The election defeat of 2009 had opened up a can of worms bringing to the fore a multitude of cantankerous issues that were tearing the party asunder; its core ideology was in question, its leadership was floundering for lack of a clear line of succession post- Advani and dissidence was raising its ugly head. For the head of its parliamentary board to add to its woes at this stage was just not acceptable. Not only did this show poor judgment but smacked of irresponsibility that was hard to pardon. The party's interest was relegated to second place in Jaswant Singh's single minded quest for personal aggrandisement. Jaswant Singh paid the price for his folly of resurrecting a divisive and politically irrelevant topic at an inappropriate moment.

Then there was the logistic issue of conforming to party norms. Senior leaders are expected to be set an example to the common soldiery by assiduously following party rules. The June 2005 resolution of the BJP stated: "Whatever may have been Jinnah's vision of Pakistan, the state he founded was theocratic and non-secular; the very idea of Hindus and Muslims being two separate nations is repugnant to the BJP. The BJP has always condemned the division of India along communal lines and continues to steadfastly reject the two-nation theory championed by Jinnah and endorsed by the British."

Jaswant Singh's action was in direct contravention of this resolution transgressing the line in the sand that had been drawn.
Sardar Patel was the perfect foil to Jawaharlal Nehru [ Images ]. His astute unyielding nature had a earthy realism that helped galvanise a motley lot of 700 and odd princely states into a credible modern nation state and contrasted sharply with the wishy-washy liberalism of Nehru that was a mere showpiece; it created more problems for the nation than it could solve.</b> The BJP pictures itself in the mould of the 'iron man', blunt and direct, even hawkish at times, but above all zealously guarding the nation's interest and rivalling the abstract Nehruvism portrayed by the Congress. Jaswant Singh's scrutiny of its icon was akin to political hara-kiri, a self inflicted stab that questioned the authenticity of its overarching assertive demeanour.

Was the action against Jaswant Singh a negation of free speech? Certainly not. For, one has to bear in mind that a political party is a collection of individuals who subscribe to a common notion. Can a Communist party harbour a die-hard capitalist in its ranks and still expect to be credible? If Jaswant Singh felt a compelling urge to articulate his convictions about Jinnah which he knew fully well, were at odds with the party diktat, he could have resigned from the party prior to his book release saving himself and the BJP an ugly spat.

In summary the BJP cannot be faulted for acting in its own interest. Jaswant Singh's expulsion was an act, Machiavellian in its concept that combined political expediency with shrewd political insight; a move designed to shore up the sagging image and morale of a fractured entity that had lost its verve and was drifting aimlessly. For the outsider this was an attack on intellectualism but for the BJP it was a proud assertion of its core identity, provoking a rare unity that had been a desideratum in recent times. The decision to expel Jaswant Singh was unanimous. Hopefully this unity will persist transforming the BJP once again into a cohesive credible unit dutifully discharging its role in Indian politics. Who knows it maybe the BJP that has the last laugh and not the venom spitting band of its detractors?

May 28, 2009

First Person

Why BJP Is Failing

After the BJP lost the general election in 2004 this first person
account of interaction with the BJP was published in a magazine now
defunct to explain why the BJP lost. It predicted that in its present
shape the BJP will never return to power. The article is reproduced
without any change.


After six years in office the BJP launched the costliest election
campaign in India ’s history and was badly trounced. The Congress,
which itself had dwindled into irrelevance, succeeded in becoming the
single largest party. The fractured election result did not signify a
revival of the Congress. It signified the irrelevance of all existing

The BJP itself lacks ideology, procedure and principle. It has an
attitude. It is anti-Muslim and anti-Christian. These prejudices are
its driving force. My views are derived from personal interaction with
the BJP and its erstwhile avatar, the Jan Sangh. I present, by your
leave, a first person account of that interaction, for whatever it is

I was working, in 1970, for The Statesman, and was among the country’s
best-paid journalists. My cartoons had been very critical of the
Congress and of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In those days of one-
party rule all opposition parties stood up for me. Indeed, during
those days when Indira was splitting the Congress, opposition party
leaders from all the leading parties held a function in Vithalbhai
Patel House to air support for me. On behalf of all the leaders
present, Atal Behari Vajpayee even garlanded me!

The Jan Sangh (the BJP of those days) decided to start a daily
newspaper, Motherland. I was invited to be the editor. Having my own
ideas of how to run a newspaper, and believing that in a city largely
sympathetic to the Jan Sangh I could effectively challenge Delhi ’s
premier newspaper, the Hindustan Times, I accepted the offer. I more
than halved my own salary and set the same salary ceiling for the top
five members of the editorial team. I created a salary structure in
which junior staff would have salaries equivalent to the highest
paying competitors, the Times of India and The Statesman. The Sangh
leaders watched me uneasily but said nothing.

The resident editor of the Indian Express, DR Mankekar, had just
retired. I approached him to become Editor of News. Mankekar was very
much my senior in years. He appeared to respond favourably. On this
matter I consulted KR Malkani, editor of the Jan Sangh’s journal,
Organiser. The next thing I knew, I was told by Madhav Rao Mule,
number two in the RSS that Mankekar would be the managing editor. I
was told that Hansraj Gupta had a hand in this decision.
Mule, Malkani and I held a meeting to discuss the issue. The only
known managing editor till then had been Devdas Gandhi in HT. Devdas
was the boss of the show. So I asked Mule, "What does a managing
editor do?"

Mule looked uncomfortable. Malkani replied, "Rajinderji, here we
function like a family, we work together."

I bluntly told him: "I don’t think we can function like a family. If
we want to become number one in the city we must function like an
army. We must have a chain of command. If there is a difference of
opinion, who prevails, Mankekar or I?"

Malkani mumbled, "Mankekar."

"Have you discussed salary with him? How much will you pay him?"

"The same that he gets." That was around Rs 3,500 per month. I had
sacrificed a Rs 4,000 plus salary to voluntarily set for myself a
salary of Rs 2,000 per month!

I bid Motherland goodbye. I had a letter of appointment from the
Motherland Board unambiguously appointing me as number one. "Don’t
worry," I told Malkani. "I won’t sue you for breach of trust."

Later, Advani and Kedarnath Sahni approached me together and requested
me to return. "I thought I was entering a mandir (temple)," I told
them wryly. "But I found myself in a mandi (marketplace)!"

Sahni looked at me mournfully."Puriji," he said earnestly. "Believe
me, we are not a marketplace!" That was the end of the Motherland
chapter. The paper never took off. It was closed during the Emergency.
After Emergency was lifted it did not revive. I think the Sangh
leaders had learnt the hard way that they were out of their depth when
it came to daily journalism.

After my brush with Motherland I had returned to The Statesman. Just
before Emergency was imposed, I had stopped drawing cartoons for it
because its editor, NJ Nanporia, didn’t publish my cartoons critical
of Indira. Those days CR Irani had little say in editorial matters.
Nevertheless, after Emergency was imposed, a warrant for my arrest was
issued. I went underground. When arrest warrants against all
journalists were withdrawn upon the advice of Chalapathi Rau, I
surfaced to resume my unemployed existence.

After Emergency was lifted, having had close relations with all anti-
Indira forces, I found myself in the Janata Party. I was the only non-
party general secretary of the party. My appointment had to be
approved by all the constituents of the original Janata Party, which
did not include Jagjivan Ram at that stage. I was entrusted with
looking after the campaign publicity.

After the Janata Party won the election despite initial private
pessimism among most of its leaders, especially George Fernandes,
aspirants from all factions got together and conspired to throw me out
from my post. Explaining to reporters my removal from the post, Advani
and Surendra Mohan, who, along with me, were original general
secretaries, said that my appointment had been "temporary". That was
not true. The conspiracy had been so complete that I learnt of my
removal only from the newspapers the next day! But that is another

I grew closer to Charan Singh and Raj Narain because of my previous
personal rapport with Ram Manohar Lohia. I wrote columns for Blitz
Weekly and the Illustrated Weekly of India. In Blitz I broke the story
of the RSS having given a sworn affidavit to the authorities stating
it was a political organization in order to evade a tax of Rs 1 crore.
That laid the foundation of the dual membership controversy that
provided the excuse for the party to split. Eventually, Raj Narain was
unconstitutionally expelled from the national executive for what he
allegedly said about Morarji Desai in Shimla. Years later, Shanta
Kumar of Himachal Pradesh admitted in a book he wrote that he had
falsely implicated Raj Narain at the behest of Nanaji Deshmukh.
Anyway, Raj Narain and I formulated the strategy to topple the Desai
government, which I had concluded was incorrigible. A fortnight before
the Janata government fell, I wrote in my Blitz column precisely how
and when it would fall.

In the 1979-80 election, I contested against Vajpayee and CM Stephen
from the New Delhi constituency. I was then, along with Madhu Limaye
and Narendra Singh, general secretary of the Lok Dal. It was a
foolhardy enterprise. Charan Singh had announced his intention to
apply the Mandal formula in government service. All the central
secretariat employees who were voters in my constituency were at my
throat. Delhi ’s urban voters passionately hated the Chaudhry. Being
general secretary of the party and residing in New Delhi , I thought
it a matter of honour that I contest from my own turf instead of
contesting from Meerut where, with the Chaudhry’s blessings, I might
have easily won. Raj Narain allowed me to keep for use in my own
election the Rs 50,000 that I had collected for the party. I didn’t
receive a single extra rupee from the party. During most of the
campaign I had to seek small donations from friends.

I won few votes but they were crucial.In the extremely close contest
my votes cut into the Congress tally to allow a victory for Vajpayee.
After its defeat, the Janata Party split again into Janata Party and
Bharatiya Janata Party. Meanwhile, because Charan Singh and Raj Narain
also parted company, I quit the Lok Dal, not joining any faction. It
was then that Vajpayee and Advani personally approached me to join the
BJP. Advani said: "Let us forget the past. Let there be no
reservations on either side." Okay, I said, and joined the BJP. I
asked for no post or status but joined as an ordinary member. It was a
foolish decision. As John F Kennedy once said: "If someone deceives
you once, it is his fault. If he deceives you twice, it is your
fault." The BJP leaders had already deceived me twice.

In the BJP I quickly became Vajpayee’s presidential speechwriter and
unofficial think-tank. At the same time I got together likeminded
Delhi leaders, Arif Baig, Mewa Ram Arya and others, to start the Jan
Ekta Manch to work among jhuggi settlements where the BJP was
particularly weak. We made quick progress. By that time Indira had
launched the bank loans scheme for the poor. The party decided to stop
the scheme’s misuse in enabling only Congress sympathizers to get bank
loans. The Jan Ekta Manch had become strong enough to overshadow the
party in organizing demonstrations and getting hundreds, sometimes
thousands, to court arrest. Vajpayee was delighted. The Delhi leaders
were uneasy although the Jan Ekta Manch was located in the premises of
the party office and no non-BJP member was made an office-bearer of
the Manch.

While Delhi leaders became uneasy at one level, the national leaders
became uneasy at another. To give substance to the BJP’s empty slogan
of ushering in Gandhian Socialism, I tried giving it content by
creating the Workers’ Sector concept. Inspired by Gandhi’s concept of
trusteeship I prepared an approach paper outlining the Workers’ Sector
concept in which workers would become owners, share in the profits and
participate in the management of those companies where public
financial institutions held a majority share. The body to propagate
this concept was named Ekatrit Kamgar Tabdili Andolan, EKTA. I lobbied
hard and created the Ekta committee with Vajpayee, Chandra Shekhar,
George Fernandes, Karpoori Thakur, Madhu Dandavate, Devraj Urs, Advani
and Bhai Mahavir as members while I was convener. For the formal
approval of the approach paper and its release to the Press, I got all
the leaders to Vajpayee’s house. The next day the Indian Express
carried a banner headline with a photograph of all the leaders
flanking Vajpayee. This created shock waves among the BJP leaders,
minus Vajpayee.

It seemed that opposition unity was being recreated in a new guise.
Advani quickly swung into action and derailed the specific
significance of the move by summoning the same leaders for routine
consideration of electoral reforms and other humdrum subjects. The
Workers’ Sector concept died a quiet death.


After Indira’s assassination, when the nation stood on the threshold
of a general election, I had realised that I didn’t fit in with the
BJP. I told Vajpayee he was losing his own election because the RSS
was backing Scindia in Gwalior and the Congress in the rest of the
country. I wrote my resignation letter and requested him to release it
only after the poll. Vajpayee read the letter and threw it aside. He
said emotionally, "Rajinderji, if we quit we’ll quit together! Just
wait till after the poll. Things will change!" He stuck out his hand
for me to shake. We shook hands and my resignation was spiked. This is
the unedited text of the letter I had written then:

December 10, 1984
Dear Atal Ji,

After our meeting last evening I have had an opportunity to reflect on
my position and role in the party.I realise how busy you must be at
this time while electioneering is in full swing. Therefore I shall
start with the operative part of the letter which you may read now,
followed by an explanation which you may read at leisure.

I hereby resign from the National Executive, the Delhi Pradesh
Executive, and the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party
effective from today. However, I would not like my resignation to be
made public till the election is over on December 27th, and shall be
grateful if the party does likewise, in order that nothing is said or
done which may aid the Congress (I) in the poll.

There are several reasons which had led me to resign. First, I
disagree with the strategy of the party. Secondly, I deplore the
party’s style of functioning. Thirdly, I question the basic integrity
of some leaders of the party who put personal advantage above the
party’s interest, and have come to acquire collectively the character
and outlook of a caucus. And lastly, there is the personal factor
which emerged in our conversation yesterday.

First, the strategy. For more than two years the debate has continued
whether the party should go it alone, merge with other parties to
create a national alternative, or seek cooperation through seat
adjustments with other parties. My own views on this fundamental
question have been clear and consistent throughout this period, and
were expressed vigorously and repeatedly during discussions in the
National Executive. I had always maintained that seat adjustments for
any ambitious and growing party could never be made into a declared
policy unless the party intended to merge with its partners
ultimately. Therefore, as far as I was concerned, the third option
never existed, and if persisted with, was sure to cause confusion and
demoralisation with the party ranks and stunt its organisational
growth. The continued effort for seat adjustments was a pathetic half-
measure which betrayed the party’s lack of confidence and commitment.

The final straw fell in the most recent meeting of the National
Executive on November 14th, after Mrs Gandhi’s death, and after the
elections had been announced. You may recall that I again argued
strongly that the death of Mrs Gandhi had brought about a fundamental
change in the situation, which made the earlier resolution in favour
of seat adjustments outlined in the Pune session irrelevant. I
advocated that after the party’s frustrating experience during the
past two years, it was time now for the party to go it alone. I urged
that the party should put up 400 candidates, come to terms with Telugu
Desam and DMK, and boldly put forward its claim of being able to form
the next government. To achieve this, I advocated a crash effort of
roping in strong independents and assimilating entire groups where

My rationale was simple. During Mrs Gandhi’s time the party’s
requirement was mainly to consolidate a negative Congress (I) vote
through seat adjustments with other parties. But after Mrs Gandhi’s
death the overwhelming feeling in the country was one of vacuum with
no credible Congress (I) leader at the helm. I pointed out that above
all the people sought a credible Prime Minister, and every single
opinion poll in the country during the past year had put your name as
a desired Prime Minister second only to Mrs Gandhi’s, much above every
other name, including that of Rajiv Gandhi. That was our main asset.

The other asset was that the BJP enjoyed the reputation of a
disciplined party unlikely to break up after the poll. Therefore we
required at least 400 candidates to be able to put up the claim with
some conviction that we would be in a position to make you Prime
Minister. The voters are going to vote for a prospective government,
not for pious platitudes, which are all that a party putting up 225
candidates can offer.Our chance lay in creating a wave, and we failed
to seize a historic opportunity due to the total lack of confidence in
the leadership, I ended my remarks in the National Executive with the
words: "If we persist with the futile bid for seat adjustments even at
this hour, we will invite political suicide."

A vast majority of those who spoke in the National Executive agreed
with my views. Despite that the contrary policy was adopted because it
seemed that those who mattered had already made up their minds. What
happens now in the elections is irrelevant. The entire atmosphere in
the crucial fortnight preceding the nominations was muddied by the
arid attempt for seat adjustments, which totally blurred the BJP’s
identity and the image of its leader. Ultimately, we are contesting
225 seats, more than 30 short of a simple majority, still confused in
most constituencies about whether we have adjusted with other parties
or not. With what conviction can we ask the voter to vote out the
government when we cannot even provide him with an alternative
government? We will not be in a position to do that because in the
last analysis we were neither large-hearted enough to assimilate other
parties, nor bold-hearted enough to go it alone. Victims of half-
measures and confusion, we fell between two stools. Which brings me to
our style of functioning.

The party’s style of functioning suggests a caucus, not a collective
democratic leadership. The two fundamental principles of a healthy
organisation are lacking: we neither believe in clear demarcation of
responsibility, nor in accountability of performance. As a result,
there is no meritocracy prevalent in the party, sapping initiative
among the workers. I had repeatedly demanded in the meetings of then
National Executive in Jaipur, Patna and elsewhere that we must have
clear demarcation of responsibility among the office-bearers, as well
as accountability, instead of behaving like a joint family in which
some are favoured regardless of performance and others are treated
like poor relatives. We have fifteen office-bearers of the party’s
central secretariat. It is a mystery what each of them is supposed to
look after. One office-bearer alone was supposed to look after Punjab,
Himachal, Jammu, and Delhi, collect funds for the party, as well as
look after the secretariat of the National Democratic Alliance while
it lasted. How could one person discharge all these duties
effectively? How often could this office-bearer visit the areas under
his care during the past one year? I prepared a note suggesting how
the central secretariat could be streamlined to function effectively.
I put the note up twice, to you and the General Secretary of the
party, Mr LK Advani, for circulation among members of the National
Executive. It was never circulated. It seemed that the National
Executive was a mere showpiece, with little relevance to real policy-
making, which was decided elsewhere. Let me further illustrate this

In the Bhubaneswar session of the National Executive it was resolved
that the party would favour a Workers’ Sector of industry in which
workers would obtain participation in ownership, profits and
management of industry. This became a resolution of the party. It was
also resolved that the party would set up an Ekta Labour Cell which
would cater to the needs of the weaker sections and unorganised labour
on behalf of the party. You thought it fit to appoint me all-India
convener of the Ekta Labour Cell.

However, in practice both resolutions were ignored. After the Bombay
Textile workers’ strike when the Government took over certain sick
mills, we did not press for handing over the mills to the control of
the workers themselves in light of the party’s declared policy
resolution.Instead we supported the Government’s decision to hand over
the mills to the public sector Textile Corporation of India that was
already mismanaging a hundred textile mills running at a loss. The
Ekta Labour Cell was also not allowed to operate because the Delhi
Pradesh leadership sabotaged the plan and the central leadership
acquiesced. Of what value, then, are decisions taken by the National
Executive of the party?

Which brings me to the third point. This regards the lack of integrity
of the BJP leadership. When individuals are appointed to an office
they are expected to discharge their duties for the benefit of the
entire organisation, not concern themselves with personal advantage
alone. But in the BJP it so happens that the organisation continues to
suffer while individual office bearers responsible for poor
performance continue to thrive. For instance, the very individuals who
sabotaged the Ekta Labour Cell were the ones who did not hesitate to
seek the help of the Jan Ekta Manch, a similar organisation privately
set up by me and like minded colleagues of the BJP with our own
resources, for work in their own individual constituencies. If such an
organisation could do useful work in one constituency, why could it
not do useful work everywhere in the country for the whole party?

Most surprisingly, those leaders who took a hard line against seat
adjustments in the Delhi Metropolitan poll, promptly somersaulted and
sacrificed two parliamentary seats in Delhi in order to better their
own chances in the parliamentary seats they were contesting. Now the
East Delhi District workers of the party are in a quandary, thoroughly
demoralised. If the leaders of the party betray such a selfish
attitude, how can workers have any morale? Is this the kind of
leadership which can hope to create a national alternative that will
usher in a new society in India/ Our assertions ring hollow when
matched against our actions.

Finally, there is the personal factor which emerged during our
conversation yesterday. You will now deny, I trust, that I never
shirked any responsibility given to me during the past four years when
I worked for the party. I never approached you for any office. I never
approached you for a parliamentary ticket. You broached the subject of
a parliamentary ticket with me yourself. I indicated the possible
choices. Eventually you could not give me a ticket. I neither
complained, nor referred to the subject with anyone in the party. You
yourself obviously felt embarrassed yesterday during the meeting which
you had sought, and urged me to work harder during the campaign. I do
not know how you got the impression that I was not doing what I was
asked to do to the best of my ability. When the subject of ticket
distribution arose, I did remark that surrendering two seats in Delhi
appeared irrational and against the party interest. It was at this
stage that you remarked, as you had earlier done in different
contexts, that some people in the party had "reservations" about me
and therefore I could not be given a ticket. How could those
reservations be dispelled, I asked. You advised that time alone could
improve matters.

I regret to say that I find this position unacceptable. Honestly, I do
not mind not being given a ticket, which I never asked for in the
first place. But I cannot countenance being refused a ticket for the
reasons that you stated, particularly since you did not seem to
question that my merit as a candidate in certain constituencies was
not in doubt. I have committed no indiscipline in the party, and
helped the party in every way to the best of my ability. I cannot help
it if certain people have "reservations" about me and you are
compelled to act by their advice. When you, and other senior
colleagues in the party ask me to help in party work, which is not
infrequent you will admit, are you not then inhibited by

When I was invited to join the party by Mr LK Advani four years ago,
he expressed the hope that there would be no reservations on either
side. Let him reflect on my performance during the past four years and
judge whether there were any reservations on my side. Let him also
indicate whether I ever set any preconditions for joining the party or
working for it, or whether I made a single personal demand for office
or position in the party. I did advocate the creation of a labour cell
in the party catering to unorganised labour, but I never sought to be
its convener. That decision was yours. Despite this I continue to hear
from time to time that certain people have "reservations" about me.
This is a matter about which I can do nothing. It is obvious that a
section of the party (which has never been named till now, and which
has obviously no connections with the RSS lest there be any
misunderstanding, because I have never had problems with either RSS or
BMS, rather cooperation and encouragement) finds itself incompatible
with me.

Personally I have no rancour against any individual in the party and
hope to continue enjoying the best of relations with all members of
the party. However, you will appreciate that I am left with no choice
but to resign from the party, in the light of growing dissatisfaction
with the party’s functioning, as well as of the "reservations’ about
me that are entertained by unnamed colleagues in the party.

With best wishes,
Yours sincerely
Rajinder Puri


The election results were as bad as they could be. True, the vote
percentage declined by just about 2.5 per cent, but the BJP won only
two Lok Sabha seats.

As I had warned Vajpayee, Scindia, with solid RSS support, defeated
him. Despite the crushing defeat, nothing changed in the party’s
Advani had described the Anandpur Sahib Resolution of the Akalis as a
"charter of national disintegration". Despite that, Rajiv Gandhi
described the BJP as an "anti-national party" because it had not
distanced itself sufficiently from Prakash Singh Badal. The national
executive of the party resolved to have no talks on Punjab with the PM
unless he apologised for that remark. A few days after the resolution,
Rajiv invited Advani, then secretary-general of the party, for a
discussion on Punjab and Advani met him.

I issued a press statement criticising Advani for breaking party
discipline by ignoring the national executive resolution. Vajpayee
wrote to me saying I should not have gone to the press. I said I would
not do that as long as Advani did not flout national executive

A short while later Advani flouted another national executive
resolution. Ram Jethmalani had argued all day persuading the party to
have no truck with the Shiv Sena in Mumbai. But almost immediately
after that the Mumbai unit of the BJP, blessed by Advani, teamed up
with the Shiv Sena to contest the Mayor’s election.

I again went to the press and criticised the party for flouting
discipline. Thereupon, Vajpayee wrote a letter asking me to resign
from the national executive for breaching discipline. I replied by
resigning from the primary membership of the party. Ironically, later
Jethmalani had no compunction in seeking Shiv Sena support for
becoming an MP! Vajpayee’s letter and my reply are reproduced without
editing. The correspondence is self-explanatory:

Atal Behari Vajpayee
Bharatiya Janata Party
May 12, 1985

Dear Shri Puri Ji,

I am sorry to see in this morning’s Statesman a statement of yours
criticising the Bombay BJP.

During the last two months this is the third time you have chosen the
forum of the press to voice criticism of the party.On March 31, you
wrote to me a letter taking exception to the meeting on Punjab, which
I, along with Advani Ji, had with the Prime Minister. You certainly
had a right to hold that opinion, but as I pointed out to you
immediately thereafter, it was improper on part of a member of the
National Executive to release such a letter to the press. You had
assured me in your letter dated April 2 that you will in the future
"take extra care’ about your utterances.

I am sorry to note that you have failed to act up to your utterances.
Two days back you have publicly criticised Shri Advani for his meeting
with the Prime Minister, And today there is this statement accusing
the Bombay BJP of indiscipline.

Obviously, you are unable to abide by the discipline imposed by
membership of the National Executive. I feel constrained, therefore,
to ask you to resign from the Executive.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,
Atal Behari Vajpayee

I sent my reply to Vajpayee the next day:

May 13, 1995

Dear Shri Vajpayee Ji,

Thank you for your letter of May 12th.

I must say that I was surprised by your request that I resign from the
National Executive for my "inability to abide by the discipline
imposed by its membership".

You deem me undisciplined for informing the press that the General
Secretary of the party. Shri Lal Krishna Advani, and the Bombay unit
of the party, were undisciplined for brazenly violating the
resolutions of the National Executive. You consider me undisciplined
for exposing the indiscipline of others, but have no word of reprimand
for those who oppose your own formal policy statements as well as
resolutions of the National Executive. Discipline, let me remind you,
enjoins a code of conduct on all members of the party, including its
President and General Secretary.

If I was impelled to take matters to the press it was due to my
repeated failure in obtaining redressal for the acts of indiscipline
by the General Secretary pointed out by me to you privately. After my
letter of April 2nd, you conceded that the General Secretary was wrong
in not briefing the press after his meeting with the Prime Minister in
order to allay misunderstanding about the party’s attitude on the
Punjab issue. In my letter of April 2nd I had urged you to ensure that
the party secretariat does not bungle in future and thereby project a
false and distorted image of the party’s stand to the public. Orally,
you had assured me that such a mistake would not be repeated.
Subsequently, you made a formal policy statement in your own name
declaring that the BJP would not participate in parleys with either
the Government or the Akalis for achieving a solution in Punjab. Yet,
twice after that, Shri Advani, in contemptuous disregard of your
statement, conferred with the Prime Minister along with other
opposition leaders in defiance of your declared policy.

Later, the Bombay unit of the party supported the Shiv Sena candidate
for Mayor in total defiance of the central party. Privately you may
deplore this fact, but what good is private anguish? The party’s image
and credibility are totally tarnished by the wide divergence between
its precept and practice, and by your pathetic inability to impose
your will.

Upon receiving your letter my instinct was to refuse to resign and
demand a full discussion on the matter in the National Executive. But
on reflection I have decided otherwise. As per the party constitution
all the members of the National Executive are nominated by you. You
alone, as President, are elected by the National Council. The National
Executive therefore is the reflection of the President’s will. As you
know, we do not vote in the National Executive.We decide by consensus.
But when even resolutions arrived at after consensus are violated and
ignored at will by a handful of senior members of the party, it is
clear that it is not even consensus which rules the party. The party
is being ruled by a caucus, and you have become its creature. This is
not a new development. May I remind you that I had resigned on
December 10th 1984, when you had advised me that I was not trusted by
the section of the party to which I refer as the caucus? I had of
course decided not to make public the resignation in order not to
embarrass the party during elections, even though the election results
were a foregone conclusion to me. I withdrew the resignation upon
receiving your solemn assurance that after the elections the party’s
style of functioning would change.

Five months have passed since then, and nothing of the sort has
happened. Instead, matters have become worse, with members of the
caucus brazenly flouting policy resolutions of the party while you
remain a helpless spectator. I can understand a stray violation, but
not the kind of arbitrary conduct, involving no accountability, which
has become the party’s style of functioning. I enclose my letter of
December 10th to refresh your memory. For reasons contained in that
letter, and for the added reasons of policy mentioned above, I am left
with no choice but to resign from the primary membership of the party.

I resign with regret, and in spite of the warm personal relationship I
have with you, Shri Advani, and others in the party. However political
association should not be based only on personal relationship but also
on fundamental factors like policy and style of functioning. It is my
humble submission that you should adopt a similar approach while
charting the BJP’s future. Given the political instincts of your most
influential colleagues in the party, would it not be better for the
BJP to dissolve its identity and merge with the Congress(I)? It would
clear much confusion in the country. This is, of course, just a
suggestion for your serious consideration.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,
Rajinder Puri

Enclosure: Letter of December 10th


It may be seen from the correspondence that the BJP is neither
democratic nor disciplined. It seeks blind obedience in the name of
discipline. Upon reflection, I am inclined to think the BJP leaders
were never really against the goals I had set for the party to
achieve. They were deeply disturbed only because I did not, at each
step, take permission from some appropriate leader. With their RSS
culture, BJP leaders are unused to individual initiative. Individual
initiative frightens them.

Inevitably, in these circumstances, the question arises: Does the
party have a future? I don’t think so -- unless it changes
miraculously. If I am wrong and the party in its present shape and
form does have a future, I would then be forced to conclude that India

I sent the correspondence I have reproduced to all members of the
national executive. After my resignation party functionaries
approached me to rejoin the party. "We will welcome you back with
honour," one of them said. I declined. I continue to have good
personal relations with all of them. They are in most cases nice
people. It is just that they belong to a different planet.

<b>Advani knew about Kandahar plan: Brajesh Mishra</b>
2009-08-27 18:30:00
Last Updated: 2009-08-27 18:52:00
New Delhi: Adding to the BJP's woes, former national security advisor (NSA) Brajesh Mishra said on Thursday that L K Advani was part of the decisions taken "unanimously" by the then Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) regarding the release of militants to save 160 hostages on the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999.

"The decisions were taken by the CCS, which had (then) prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, home minister L K Advani, finance minister Yashwant Sinha, defence minister George Fernandes and external affairs minster Jaswant Singh as its members," Mishra told journalist Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN.

The comment of Mishra, former prime minister Vajpayee's closest aide, comes days after Jaswant Singh said he had "covered" up for Advani during the 2009 Lok Sabha campaign by concealing that the BJP's prime ministerial candidate knew of the terrorist-hostage swap during the 1999 hijacking episode.

<b>BJP is like Ku Klux Klan: Jaswant Singh</b>

In a bitter attack on Advani after his sacking from the BJP last week, Jaswant Singh had revealed that the former home minister's claim that he was unaware of Jaswant Singh accompanying three freed terrorists for securing the release of 160 hostages was not true.

Advani had all along claimed that he was not in the know that Jaswant Singh was on the plane with three terrorists to Kandahar.

Rebutting Advani's claims, Mishra said: "I am not going to get into anything that then home minister Advani said. I will only draw your attention to the fact that key members of the CCS - George Fernandes, Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha - have very clearly said he (Advani) was there."

<b>Khanduri challenges BJP leadership</b>

"A proposal was made in the CCS that Jaswant Singh should go and bring back the hostages and it was agreed by the CCS. Let's put it more charitably as George Fernandes said, may be he has forgotten," the former NSA said.

Giving details of the IC-814 hijacking and demands of the militants, Mishra said: "They (hijackers) wanted the release of 36 terrorists and $200 million and also the interned remains of some terrorist buried in Kashmir. Each and every man (in the CCS) was opposed to the demand. Then there was a decision, a unanimous decision, that in order to save 160 hostages three terrorists will be released. No money, no interned remains (were given)."

<b>I`m not joining any party: Sudheendra Kulkarni</b>

Mishra said the CCS was meeting every day during the hostage crisis and "the CCS took the decision that Jaswant Singh should accompany the terrorists to Kandahar".

"Jaswant Singh proposed that he would go to Kandahar to bring back hostages. He explained that Indian representatives negotiating there had suggested that somebody senior should be there in case of some last minute problems. This he told the CCS. This was agreed to unanimously," he said, adding that Advani was part of the decision.

<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> BURDWAN: Arch rivals BJP and CPM on Friday formed an alliance to win a gram panchayat election in Burdwan

BJP leader Mala Dhara was made the chief of Purbasthali II gram panchayat as the 'Jatiya Ganashakti Morcha', an alliance between BJP and CPM, won ten out of 13 seats by defeating Trinamool Congress in the trust vote.

With seven seats, Trinamool was earlier ruling the panchayat.

BJP MLA Swapan Debnath, however, described CPM as an "opportunist" party and said the alliance was "made to honour people's expectations".
The BJP joining hands with CPM to fight a local body election in West Bengal, just symbolises the actual present day thinking within the party. It must be indeed in an desperate situation , otherwise an electoral alliance with the CPM is unthinkable. Many in this forum may not agree to the genuineness of this news item. This may be out of their strong support to the BJP and its ideology and simply cannot accept the present day reality, as far as the BJP is concerned.However, there is no point to be on the denial mode as everything is possible in the present day political landscape
Think other way round.
Who knows those CPM are actually newly converted Hindutava brigade or they had Hindu calling. Till these CPM guys are doing "Durga Puja" (non-commercial) we have some hope. It also prove communism is dying even in West Bengal, only so called p-intellectual WB diaspora are ranting on net.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> It has happened before when both CPM and BJP supported VP Singh. There is nothing new; so, I won't call it sign of desperation.
Both of these are cadre based parties and if they combine, I think, they can have long haul in Indian politics.
Jai ho! <!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->
It is perhaps a good development that the BJP top leadership is currently under intense pressure from different quarters for a change in the top leadership. It will be gradual as in indian politics, very few leaders take graceful retirement. The RSS should exert more pressure on the BJP's present leadership to step down in favour of younger leaders. At the same time, BJP policy makers should give a clear direction to the party. It cannot play the game as a so called secular party and extend its hand to the minority communtiy and at the same time expect the conservative Hindu voters to give solid support to the Party.Alu Tikki and Shammi Kabab cannot go together.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Shourie's 3 articles
Click on this link for an extraordinary series of 3 articles by BJP which
appeared in the Indian Express on Aug. 25, 26 and 27. I have titled this set
of 3 articles as: Jaswant's Jinnah and implosion of BJP by Arun Shourie.

Article 1 is titled: A few extracts from the book (that is, Jaswant's book)
Article 2 is titled: The ban and the law (that is, a reference to Gujarat
Govt.'s ban on the book)
Article 3 is titled: Master strategies (that is, strategies by those holding
the reins of BJP)

Though Articles 1 and 2 provide the backdrop and make for good reading, let
me focus on Article 3.

Article 3 is quite unlike Arun Shourie's straight-forward articles which
made him a by-word among journalists as a sharp-shooter. In this article,
Arun Shourie is indulging in an Alice in the Wonderland metaphor to identify
the key actors related to BJP strategising the implosion of the BJP. Of
course, there is no mention of Arun Shourie himself as a key insider in this
sordid drama presented through Alice riddles. I don't think he would like to
categorise himself as a kicking-horse.

What is Arun trying to convey?

I leave it to him to do the explaining himself, but let me venture some
views on the state of the party to which Arun Shourie belongs.

1. Core ideology of the party is the reverence for the leader (I assume,
this refers to Advani).
2. Dead horses are promoted to supervisory positions (I assume, this refers
to the 'secon-rung' leadership of BJP in its parliamentary board; I don't
have to name them).
3. Since dead horses are not really dead, they have the potential to throw
kicks. (I think this is an opinion unsubstantiated by facts, unless Arun
Shourie comes out with unambiguous precision without hiding behind the Alice
metaphor or even the dead horse metaphor.)
4. The party is incapable of introspection.

One thing is clear. There is no second-rung leadership (they are really dead
horses promoted to supervisory positions) and if BJP has to be revived,
these dead horses have to be really removed from supervisory positions and
made ordinary field workers.

Another thing is clear. BJP is in a very, very bad shape, almost in a
terminal state of illness (that is, not exactly a dead horse but a dying
horse without any capacity to think).

To make the horse trot again, a panchayat of the party units from the mandal
and district level has to be convened in a think (chintan) baithak.

This is my take on the Wonderland called BJP and creating some hope for the
rashtram to be served by a party once called the BJP. The J in BJP is
becoming a metaphor. The J in BJP has to be restored for the horse to limp
back to action.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->NATION | Friday, September 4, 2009 | Email | Print |

Herculean task ahead for new BJP chief

Kumar Uttam | New Delhi

While it is not known who will succeed Rajnath Singh as the next BJP chief, one thing is sure: the new incumbent will have to grapple with a host of challenges that will test his mettle without allowing him the luxury of settling down. He has to pull the party out from the morass it is now in and provide it a new direction. <b>The new party president is expected to take over in December after Rajnath completes his term.</b>

For the new man, the biggest challenge would be to infuse new blood into the party that after a successful feat in a series of Assembly elections suddenly lost steam in the last leg of the race. Moreover, there are problems in some State units of the party and ‘rebels’ are giving sleepless nights for the party’s central leadership.

<b>The crucial Assembly election, including that in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, are going to be one major test for the next head of the party</b>. Both the States go to poll in 2012.

By then, Modi would complete more than 10 years in power and, despite being a popular BJP Chief Minister, would be under tremendous pressure to repeat the magic. The party continues to remain in dire straits in the country’s largest State, where it slipped to the fourth position in the Parliamentary election. A resurgent Congress in Uttar Pradesh would always give the BJP a run for its money. .

<b>Punjab and Uttarakhand, where the BJP is in power either on its own or along with its ally</b>, would also go to poll in 2012 and the new president would have to sweat it out to retain them.

<b>Bihar would also be a big challenge for the BJP</b>. Though its alliance with JD(U) appears, as of now, far ahead of its nearest rivals, there have been genuine concerns in the BJP about Nitish Kumar’s road ahead.

<b>Finally, the new chief would have to make way for someone else before the next Lok Sabha election. Information trickling out of the BJP and the RSS offices in New Delhi suggests this is why both feel a low profile and neutral man without much lust for power and a grasp over the organisation should be elevated as party president.</b>

<b>There is consensus that the candidate has to be from outside the ‘Delhi circle’ now dominated by power players.</b> Names of several State leaders like IIT graduate and former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari besides others are doing the rounds but there is no official confirmation so far.

But the RSS is reportedly apprehensive about the ‘cooperation’ these non-profile leaders will receive from the heavyweight leaders in New Delhi. Sources say during his recent week-long stay in the national capital, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat tried to build a consensus among the second generation leaders of the party that they should identify the next head of the party and should cooperate.

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>You too, Lotus!</span></b>

Saturday, 05 September, 2009 , 04:12 PM

The uncivil war raging within the BJP Parivar has ramifications much beyond that party’s confines. In a perverse way, BJP’s much touted ‘cultural nationalism’ gells perfectly with Bharath’s culture of internecine feuds at the expense of nationalism, a curse that had helped many a foreigner from Alexander to Allauddin Khilji to Aurangazeb to the Anglos to Antonio, to divide, rule, loot and scoot. But the genetic kink apart, BJP’s suicide pact sounds the death knell for many vital ingredients of the polity and society as well.

The BJP’s betrayal of its core constituency stands out. The party’s meteoric rise since the late eighties is not because the voters were taken in by the charisma of Vajpayee, Advani etc. Yes, V’payee may have brought in the allies with his ‘mask’ of moderation, but the voters came in for what the BJP stood for. While anti-Congressism played its part, it was more a factor in the states where the Grand Old Party lost out to regional players such as Telugu Desam, Naveen, Mulayam or Lalu. At the national level, the BJP’s vote bank was a positive one, in favour of its politics and policies. While issues like Abrogation of Article 370, Uniform Civil Code, pseudo-secularism etc found resonance with a rising middle class, the Ram temple movement became symbolic of a lost national/cultural pride that begged to be resurrected. I for one do not believe that the BJP leaders were the harbingers of this wave: that would be overestimating their worth. If anything, they only rode the crest of what was essentially a groundswell with roots deep into history and wounds aggravated by a self-defeating secular milieu.

In hindsight, it appears that the BJP leadership, while not being the karta or genesis of the Hindutva cause, has however turned out to be a nemesis. While the cadre and voters remained firm in the crust, the leaders were more bothered about skimming the cream of power on the surface. And once it was near and after it was in hand, the promises that propelled them up were pushed to that notorious ‘backburner’ and incinerated. At 180 MPs in 1998, the party should have looked at the long haul, waited and tried to expand its base. But instead of chasing people, it chased allies, because principles had silently given way to personal ambition: Vajpayee had waited long and must become PM! And then it was Advani. Their coronations at the capital were deemed of paramount importance to the party, no matter if Rama remained exiled from Ayodhya! And, we are not talking of the scores of lesser mortals of the BJP stalking the North, South and sundry other blocks of the capital, oblivious to how and why they were there in the first place. Needless to say, there is no point in blaming the allies: they were only travelling footboard on Rama’s rath and promptly alighted it to board whatever bandwagon that would take them to Destination Delhi. But what earthy reason can the BJP have to align with a party like DMK that is the anti-thesis of all that the BJP stands for? Clearly, power politics of the BJP had consumed its core principles, rendering it a redundant rump of rootless leaders.

But all that is past and within the parivar. And if the cause is really vibrant and valid, it would certainly find its own avenues for articulation and advancement, BJP or no BJP. But for the present, the party’s implosion is sure to send shrapnel across the democratic spectrum. Forget Hindutva, the BJP symbolised some, er, secular standards too. Barring the Left, it is the only party with more than a semblance of inner-party democracy and collective leadership. It was a perfect democratic foil against the dynastic Congress and offered an alternative also to those who had gone tired of listening to endless bedtime tales on DD or AIR of the great Nehru bloodline, as if it owned the nation and represented its heritage. Ironically, the BJP might have now ended up perpetuating it.

And by quibbling, quarrelling and queering the political pitch, the BJP leadership experiment seems to have established for eternity that ‘nationalist intellectuals’ can never agree on anything nor can they work together for a cause, and that dynasties, howsoever, nasty, are the best political (& business) model for a successful party! Also that principles are subservient to personalities and howsoever exalted the ideology, it needs a face and often the face alone will do! Sure, the BJP had its highs. It broke Cong hegemony and ran for the first time a non-Cong government for a full term. It ensured robust if not equitable economic growth. And it converted the uni-polar, dynastic centric polity into a multi-polar one with the national debate too shifting to issues of identity and growth rather than the fates of a chosen few. But by following on Cong’s footsteps and now falling flat, it has more or less wiped out all those democratic gains. Indeed, the nation seems condemned to families, mafias and family mafias!

The utter disarray in the key opposition party has grave consequences for the people. The BJP may represent just one fifth of the electorate but it still owes a duty to the entire nation to be a responsible opposition. Ironically, even PM MSingh and former PM Deve Gowda have expressed distress at the weakening of the BJP. While it is fine for the BJP leaders to dismiss these as a wolf’s tears at the lamb’s plight, they cannot ignore the four fingers pointing inwards. The ugliness of the BJP’s squabbles is all set to be displayed in Parliament when sensitive issues like Kandahar, a matter of shame, and Pokhran, a matter of pride, are likely to figure. Thanks to the sordid mud-slinging over them, Parliament is likely to witness a strange reversal in proceedings with the opposition party on the back foot, defending itself from its own backfiring guns! And issues that really matter to the people like drought, price rise, recession and terrorism are likely to be orphaned, with the ruling regime going scot free without a blot on its conscience!Well, Brutus’ famous, fatal stab punctured Caesar’s chest. BJP’s stabbing spree has split the the nation wide open.

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(Courtesy: Talk Media)

<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> If the party goes through with it, Mr. Advani will retain full control over its legislature wing, while losing his statutory position as Leader of the Opposition along with Cabinet status. It would also mean some sort of parity of status between the leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses — in this instance, Mr. Jaitley and Ms. Swaraj, widely tipped to take over from Mr. Advani as Leader of Opposition.

Without this amendment, the new Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha after Mr. Advani relinquishes the post, would almost automatically become the leader of the combined parliamentary party.

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