By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
After being forced to resign from the National Executive on the eve of its meeting in Mumbai late last month the BJP leader and Sangh Parivar man, Sanjay Joshi, on Friday quit the party a day before the two-day Gujarat State Executive meeting of the party to be held on June 9-10.
Incidentally, the resignation came as new posters, banners and pamphlets praising him and attacking the Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, resurfaced in Ahmedabad and Rajkot, where the State Executive is to meet.
Obviously, Narendra Modi and top state party leaders and office-bearers are attending the meeting, which is quite significant given the fact that Assembly election is due at the end of the year.
The posters had appeared for the first time in the party headquarters in Delhi and in Ahmadabad on June 5 but were soon removed. Though state office bearers and leaders of the party have not spoken on the issue its reappearance came as a big surprise.
Among other things the posters quoted a poem of former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and have the BJP symbol on it. They read Perform Rajdharma, Prajadharma, and Partydharma.
Reports suggest that the Modi government has instructed the intelligence wing of the Gujarat police to keep a watch on party leaders and workers having allegiance to Joshi and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who has been attacking Modi in public functions in the state.
Modi and Sanjay Joshi had a history of running battle among them. A few years back the latter faced almost similar situation following what is called CD scandal. However, he was brought back into the party last year. The Gujarat chief minister always suspected that Joshi has been conspiring and complaining against him to the central leadership of the party.
So he once again started influencing the party to get rid of him. This time he joined hands with the party chief, Nitin Gadkari.
But just after the National Executive meet the party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, in his blog, strongly criticized Modi. This was followed by the attack on him by the organs of BJP and RSS.
Then the NDA partner, the Janata Dal (United) told the BJP that it would not support the latter if Narendra Modi is made its prime ministerial candidate.
Modi, who is being attacked repeatedly by the BJP top-brass and the oldest ‘secular’ constituent of the NDA, the Janata Dal (United), is now trying to befriend leaders like the Tamil Nadu and Odisha chief ministers, Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik, respectively. The other non-NDA leaders with whom he is cultivating his relationship is Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj Thackeray.
But only time will tell how much these newfound ‘external’ friends help Modi regain power in the coming Assembly election.
The pangs of transferring the mantle of leadership to the Gen-Next is proving too painful in the party. Unlike the duo of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani in the past at present there are more than half a dozen claimants for the top post in the party. So whenever the media plays up the name of Modi as the prime ministerial candidate everything goes haywire in the party.
True there often used to be simmering tension between Vajpayee and Advani too in 1990s yet none of them ever behaved like Modi. He had used everything to manipulate that he is the best choice for the post of PM when the truth, according to many within the party, is not that.
But political observers are of the view that with RSS and old guards strongly behind Joshi, his resignation is most likely to create problem for him. Now even the fence-sitters are feeling uneasy over the way the Gujarat chief minister is trying to hijack the party.
The latest to show displeasure over his style of functioning is none else but the deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi.