An impressive crowd of party workers and at least two MPs crowd into the drawing room of a North Avenue flat in New Delhi on Wednesday morning. They are all waiting for the controversial ‘nobody’, Sanjay Joshi. It has been five days since BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar announced that Joshi had resigned from the party, ostensibly because strongman Narendra Modi wanted him out. But the assembly appears unfazed.
Predictably, they were all talking about ‘Namo’ and were evidently no fans of his. The subject of their discussion was Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s scathing response to Modi’s condescending comment that casteism had ruined Bihar.
When Joshi, who had just returned from Nagpur, did emerge finally, it was only to add to the prevailing confusion in the BJP. “Who says I have resigned from the BJP?” he asked; he had only relinquished his responsibility of overseeing party affairs in Uttar Pradesh. He blames the media for not checking facts and insinuates that the disinformation was part of a campaign.
“Reports that I have quit the party are completely baseless,” he declares. With an expansive wave of his arm, he points to the people cramming his drawing room and asks, “If I had quit the party, would these people have dared to come and see me?” Murmurs of approval greet his statement. Some of the BJP workers claim to have travelled from Kanpur and Agra; there are several people from Maharashtra. The two MPs with gun-toting bodyguards are quickly ushered into the ante-room as Joshi fends off queries from the media. He will not comment on the state of affairs in the party, he says firmly, before indicating that the interview was over.
The Joshi camp clearly believes that the media hype created over his alleged resignation from the BJP was orchestrated by subtle media management by the Modi camp. A large section in the BJP seems to be disappointed, even frustrated, over developments in the party. “An individual (Modi) is projecting himself as the prime ministerial candidate, managing the media to the detriment of the party, getting publicly rebuffed by the Bihar chief minister, yet the party is keeping quiet,” complained one of the camp followers.
Former pracharak, ideas person and senior BJP leader Govindacharya, who has charted a course outside the party, says the BJP is no different from the Congress. The current crisis in the party, he asserts, is due to the personal interests of a few individuals overshadowing the organisation and the ideology.
A Brahmin party worker from Uttar Pradesh has a more karmic explanation for the crisis within the party. According to him, Narendra Modi, an obc, has already cut to size four Brahmins, namely Haren Pandya, Harin Pathak, Sanjeev Bhatt and Sanjay Joshi. He would now surely have to face divine justice, he observes.
After December 6, 1992, it was Kalyan Singh who was the ‘Hindu hriday samrat’. But neither he nor other prominent obcs, be it Uma Bharati or even Vinay Katiyar, has been able to survive, and this was largely because of their overweening ambition and arrogance, he points out. Like them, Modi too would pay a price, he says.
As if the hints of a caste divide within the BJP were not enough, another party worker says smugly that Modi looks as overconfident now as Pramod Mahajan did in 2004. Quite a dire analogy that. Neither heat nor the dust have settled in the BJP, it would seem.
It has become quite pointless to read any piece on Modi in Outlook (The Man Never Left, June 25). Content so utterly biased, negative and predictable. Outlook is for traitors like Arundhati Roy.
Shirish Chaudhry, Delhi
Is your magazine anti-Modi? You should take note of all the great work the man has done for Gujarat.
Ankit Shah, Vadodara
Another Kangress-paid article. Bhatt was too much of a criminal liability and just about forgotten. The SIT report didn’t work. And now, Joshi who? I would not want to pay to read Outlook.
Vikk Nayyar, Delhi
Why is so much importance being given to a non-entity like Sanjay Joshi? Is he another Swami Agnivesh?
As for "an individual projecting himself as the prime ministerial candidate....to the detriment of the party.......yet the party is keeping quiet.” could be applied to the heir apparent as well.
>> The so called Brahmin party worker could very well be Neelabh Mishra!
>>The current crisis in the party, he asserts, is due to the personal interests of a few individuals overshadowing the organisation and the ideology.
Govindacharya, may be talking of Delhi 4 not Modi. Outlook does not even pretend to be objective anymore.
>>A Brahmin party worker from Uttar Pradesh has a more karmic explanation for the crisis within the party. According to him, Narendra Modi, an obc, has already cut to size four Brahmins, namely Haren Pandya, Harin Pathak, Sanjeev Bhatt and Sanjay Joshi. He would now surely have to face divine justice, he observes.
This is the quality of Outlooks articles. The so called Brahmin party worker could very well be Neelabh Mishra!
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