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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

In Search Of Their Lost Arc

Ideological makeover or image change? A floundering BJP is yet to decide which way to go.

In Search Of Their Lost Arc
Jitender Gupta
In Search Of Their Lost Arc
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Bharatiya Janata Party is going through a crisis of confidence and identity, of leadership and ideology, unparalleled in its 29-year-old history. Not a day goes by without a party senior shooting off an angry salvo, a letter of resignation or giving a tell-all interview on television; or a backroom boy penning an anguished confessional. It's a bush fire that is becoming hard to contain—or as the party's newly elected deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, put it cryptically, "The situation in the party is volcanic. When there is a volcano, even a small spark can flare it further."

If former Union minister Jaswant Singh spoke of the need for a connect between "parinaam aur puraskar" (result and reward), fellow partyman Yashwant Sinha, resigning from all the party posts, stressed the need for "collective" accountability in the party. Murli Manohar Joshi, mocking party president Rajnath Singh's gag order, said an official ban was never required when he was party president, "such was the party discipline then...." Emboldened by his seniors, former Uttarakhand CM Bhagat Singh Koshiyari asked for a leadership change in the state (the BJP lost all five Parliament seats here) and then, promptly, resigned from the Rajya Sabha.

It is clear, party sources say, that the barbed comments emanating from Messrs Jaswant Singh, Sinha and Joshi have less to do with their desire for accountability and more with thwarted ambitions. All three are part of what is being described as the "lost generation": younger than the Vajpayee-Advani duo but senior to the fiftysomething Gen Next members—Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi. All three won Parliament seats, hoping it would qualify them to be Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; instead, Advani retained the post and his deputy, Sushma,...

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