Modi pays courtesy calls to Advani, Vajpayee
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who hogged the limelight at the BJP's recent national executive meeting, on Friday paid a “courtesy call” to senior-most leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani here.
Mr. Modi was here to discuss the State plan with the Planning Commission.
Reflecting the sentiments among the rank and file in the party, the BJP mouthpiece, Kamal Sandesh, in its latest editorial took a dig at senior leaders for acts of indiscipline.
On Thursday, Mr. Advani lamented the failure of the BJP leadership to convert the prevailing anti-Congress sentiments among people in favour of the BJP.
The editorial referred to the developments in Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan. It said the happenings have deeply hurt the sentiments of the common people.
On Thursday, Mr. Advani indirectly hit out at party president Nitin Gadkari for a series of decisions that had hurt the interests of the party.
The editorial said: “Some of the happenings in the BJP-ruled Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan have deeply hurt the sentiments of the common people. The BJP karyakartas [workers] and its staunch supporters also felt the pain,” it said.
In an obvious reference to rash statements by senior party leaders in recent months the editorial said, “If pupils make a mistake in a class, it is understandable — but here even masters and principals are ready to leave the track. The party is the track on which the train of organisation runs.”
Suggesting that leaders are not above the party, it reminded leaders not to forget that it is the organisation that has put them in the top position.
Mr. Advani, in his blog entry, said that while the people were angry with the UPA, they were equally disappointed with the BJP. He called for “introspection” within the party over its current state of affairs.
The candid observations of Mr. Advani have come at a juncture when Mr. Gadkari is grappling with factionalism and acts of indiscipline by senior leaders. The manner in which he had to give in to the demand of Mr. Modi hours before the national executive was seen as open defiance of the party leadership by senior leaders.
To ensure the presence of Mr. Modi, who not only boycotted the last national executive meeting but also refuse to campaign for the party in the recent Assembly polls, the BJP president sacked the Chief Minister's arch-rival Sanjay Joshi from the national executive.
Mr. Gadkari is unable to tame the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, who has been repeatedly embarrassing the party over his demand for his re-instatement.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who had also threatened to boycott the Mumbai session, made it a point to turn up after Mr. Modi announced his intention to reach Mumbai.
A few weeks before the Mumbai session, the former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, threatened to resign as Leader of the Opposition in the State if the party leadership did not direct her rival Gulab Chand Kataria to call off his proposed yatra.
Later, on central directions, Mr. Kataria put off his yatra.