Patna: If one is asked who will know the most about India’s former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the answer would be BJP and its members. However, it is where the catch lies!
At a quiz organised by the BJP in Patna on the occasion of the former PM’s 88th birthday on Sunday, it was not just school children who flunked but also party stalwarts.
While students from the Rajkiya Kanya Madhya Vidyalay, Rajkiya Saraswati Vidyalay and New Harijan Academy described the questions as “tough” when they failed to answer them, the BJP leaders suggested to the newspaper reporter to find the answers on the Internet!
Sample this: When asked by a leading newspaper during the quiz in which year and state Vajpayee was born, BJP’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy had no answer. He even failed to recall how many times Vajpayee was the PM. This when Rudy himself was a minister in Vajpayee’s government.
An embarrassed Rudy told the daily to “Google it” when asked from where Vajpayee had won his first election!!!
“Give me 10 minutes to reply to these queries. But why don’t you see the answers on the Net? If you want to get a reply from me, furnish me the questions and give me 10 minutes,” he is reported to have told the daily.
And when the programme got over, Rudy gave a sort of warning to the reporter. “I will suggest you do not write about my replies to your queries. I do not think such stories (reports) will help you in future. You have a long way to go in this profession; so you better avoid such things,” the daily reported Rudy as telling.
It was not just Rudy but three other leaders of the party who failed to answer questions about the party’s tallest leader.
The newspaper reported none of the four had an answer to as to when Vajpayee was born, what his father’s name was, which seat he was first elected from or what his first portfolio was as a Union minister.
Only two knew he was born in Madhya Pradesh and had been the PM thrice.
To a question, Nitin Navin - party MLA from Banipore in Bihar – said: “I cannot remember the year of his birth. I seriously don’t know the answer; I have to check it somewhere.... I can give you the answer if you give me some time.”
Another party representative, Sanjay Jaiswal - MP from Paschim Champaran – told the newspaper: “It seems that you are checking the IQ of the BJP leaders. I can smell something wrong in it.”
“Why are you asking me these questions? I don’t think anybody would be able to give the answers at such short notice,” Jaiswal added.
First Published: Monday, December 26, 2011, 12:53