NO doubt it is a cliché, but the velocity with which the political temperature and mood transforms on Raisina Hill leaves the casual observer dazed. Was it yesterday when all seemed kaput for A.B. Vajpayee? He was not riding, but galloping into the sunset. Then appeared the magic wand. All it took was seven days, demonstrating once again that a week is a long time in politics. The prime minister, contrary to expectations, did not fall or stumble at the Red Fort. Instead he delivered a useful, if not scintillating, speech. Subsequently, he had two brilliant days in Parliament holding the House, as sketch writers insist, in the palm of his hand. Later we saw the bridge-building with the rss and the feared K.S. Sudershan where the prime minister showed that he too is adept in the art of doublespeak. The cumulative impact of these seven days in August have energised Mr Vajpayee's handlers sufficiently for them to commence finalising his foreign itinerary for the year 2002.
No state secrets are being revealed here, but Mr Vajpayee's real enemies—those who cannot wait to see him out—are not in the parivar or the nda or the Opposition. They sit comfortably in the embrace of his own party. These worthies include ministers, national executive members, party bigwigs, friends of the bjp in the media.... These are the people who have been conducting a frenzied campaign to destabilise the government both overtly and covertly. At times the campaign has been orchestrated with a brazenness bordering on vulgarity.
The Bharatiya Janata Party pounces ruthlessly on those outside the fold who dare to criticise the high command. No one knows that better than me. Therefore, I am amazed that the enemies within of Prime Minister Vajpayee seem beyond the purview of discipline or reprimand.