Shourie slams BJP leadership, says RSS should take-over

Stoking fresh trouble in the crisis-ridden BJP, party leader Arun Shourie on Monday described it as a "kati patang".

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

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

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