Shourie slams BJP leadership, says RSS should take-over
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 00:43
New Delhi: Stoking fresh trouble in the crisis-ridden BJP, party leader Arun Shourie on Monday described it as a "kati patang" (adrift kite).

He also virtually dared the party to take action against him but said if it did it, "they are only killing the messenger".

Joining the ranks of dissidents in the party, which is reeling under internal dissidence after the Lok Sabha defeat, the journalist-turned-politician, who was a minister in the Vajpayee government, hit out at party president Rajnath Singh calling him an "Alice in Blunderland" and that the party was a kati patang (kite without a string).

"In my view, the BJP is a kati patang. Unless it is got hold of swiftly by....I don't see people within the party who now have such authority....if anybody can do it, it is only the RSS (that can do it)," he told a news channel.

He later told reporters that like once Mao Ze Dong had said, "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."

Shourie said what was happening in the party now was that raising questions has become indiscipline.

"Those who have brought about this situation and brought about the party to this pass, 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?" he said.

The former Disinvestment Minister said the party is an important institution and the leadership did not listen to what was said or did not do anything after agreeing with what is being said.

The party was being run like a private company in which top leaders were indulging in mutual projection and mutual protection. Leaders like B C 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 "owned up responsibility".

Asked whether Advani should go, Shourie said removal of one leader is not enough. "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."

Invoking RSS, Shourie said that the Sangh has been too liberal over the happenings in the BJP.

"RSS should crack the whip...When they come in, there will be other consequences. I have been pleading with them that you keep out of politics. You just watch the conduct of individuals," he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP ridiculed party spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy's comment that he was attacking the leadership as his term in the Upper House was coming to an end.

Claiming that he has raised these issues with the party leadership, Shourie said motives were being attributed to him whereas they want to project as if what the party did was without motives.

Lamenting the fall in standards in the party MPs, he said the BJP's image took a big beating when its MPs were involved in the cash-for-query scam and that was why the people did not believe the party when its MPs displayed crores of Rupees in the Lok Sabha during the Trust Vote last year.

"The credibility of the party was so low that people commented that the cash-for-vote scam was done by themselves. Nobody believes our word," he said.

Deprecating the expulsion of Jaswant Singh, Shourie said it was done without anybody in BJP even reading his book on M A Jinnah. "It was a manufactured outrage," he said.

Ridiculing the party's contention that Jaswant Singh was sacked for his derogatory remarks against Sardar Patel, he said BJP leaders did not want to mention Jinnah as questions would have been raised over Advani's 2005 comments about the Pakistan founder.

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

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.

Virtually daring the party to take action against him, Shourie said Rudy's remarks only showed that they were waiting for such an opportunity.

"Rudy says I want to become a martyr. We will make him one," he said to buttress his point that the party does not want to look at the substance of the problem.

Shourie said he wrote a letter to the party president and it remained a secret but it was treated as indiscipline and they have made up their mind to act against him.

He said the party wanted to behave as "decisive" by acting against leaders after RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat's suggestion that "do something quickly".

He also said the party leaders wanted to project themselves as strong and decisive and that was why they were trying to become Tarzan to dispel the image that they could not do it. He described them as Humpty Dumpty.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 00:43

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