[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he knives are out in the BJP for the slaughter of the coterie responsible for the party’s massive loss in Bihar. A large section of the BJP cadre as well senior leaders are jubilant over the debacle, hoping it will force Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do some much-needed course correction. One one side the workers are unhappy over the contempt with which they are being treated by the seniors, and on the other side many veteran leaders are outraged over being sidelined in the party they nurtured over the years. In the middle are a coterie of leaders who have flourished during the Modi era in BJP and fattened over the crumbs of pelf and power.
Soon after BJP’s humiliating loss in Bihar at the hands of Nitish and Lalu on Sunday, Shatrughan Sinha, BJP MP from Patna Saheb, went on record taking a jibe at Modi, saying the Bihar verdict has once for all settled the “Bihari vs Bahri debate.”
The “Bihari Babu” has attacked the BJP leadership for over a month. Seen as a camp follower of veteran L K Advani, Sinha has been stoking a silent rebellion in the party for months. Now, he is expected to get good support from the rank and file of the party.
Another BJP MP, Ashwani Kumar Choubey, from Buxar in Bihar, attacked the R S S chief Mohan Bhagwat, saying his statement on possible review of reservation quota distanced the backward castes and Dalits from the BJP.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]V[/dropcap]eteran BJP leader and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar has also questioned the style of functioning of the leadership and called for a thorough introspection of the Bihar result.
But it is Arun Shourie, the intellectual face of the BJP under Vajpayee era and now treated as an untouchable within the party (for the record, Shourie says he is no longer a member of BJP), who rubbed salt into the wounds of the BJP’s ruling troika.
Shourie was asked who should be made responsible for the BJP defeat in Bihar, he said: It is Modi, the master strategist (Shah) and Jaitley,
Blaming Modi, Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley for the loss in Bihar, Shourie predicted the start of a “silent non-cooperation movement” in the party against them.
Shourie also said that the BJP’s “Modi-centric” campaign lacked credibility since the Prime Minister has failed to fulfill the promises he made during the Lok Sabha campaign to the voters. He also questioned the party’s “divisive tactics” for the debacle.
A minister in the Vajpayee government, Shourie accused Shah and Jaitley of “fomenting” a coalition against Modi by creating a situation which has forced other opposition parties to come under one umbrella to take on the BJP.
He pointed out that these parties control over 69% of the vote whereas when the BJP came to power at the height of Modi’s popularity it got only 31% votes.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]alking on NDTV channel when Shourie was asked who should be made responsible for the BJP defeat in Bihar, he said: It is Modi, the master strategist (Shah) and Jaitley, There is no fourth person in the party or the government.”
On what went wrong with the campaign, he said, “everything”.
Asked about the implications of the Bihar debacle, he said, “The silent non-cooperation movement against them (Modi, Shah, Jaitley) will deepen. In the government, bureaucracy will also not be forthcoming.”
However, as of now not many in the party could dare to openly come out against Modi or Shah, or for that matter Jaitley, who controls the media in a big way as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and many editors eat out of his hands. It will be a while before the “silent movement” will grow into a loud cacophony.
“If Modi thinks he and his troika will hijack both the party and the government, he is thoroughly wrong. We will wait for the right time to hit back“, said a senior leader.
The days ahead will be interesting for BJP watchers.
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