On a day when the Bharatiya Janata Party continued to be lambasted by expelled leader Jaswant Singh, who described it as a “Ku Klux Klan” — a white American racist hate group — and said Mr. L.K. Advani was no longer even the leader of a coterie but was “being led by a coterie,” the central party here continued to maintain that it expected the resignation of Vasundhara Raje, Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan, by the month-end.
There were signs that the party was going slow on action against the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Arun Shourie, who had recently described the party as a directionless kite without a string and its leadership as “Alice in Blunderland” and “Humpty Dumpty.” Till Wednesday evening the letter had not been sent as it was still being drafted. “What is the hurry? The letter will go to him in due course,” one party functionary said. The letter is expected to give him a week to respond.
The BJP leadership is also bracing itself for what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat may say when he addresses a press conference scheduled on Friday. The big question is whether he will take forward his recent suggestion that a generational change in the party’s leadership was necessary.
Meanwhile, it appears that the arrangement with Ms. Raje, reached at when she met party president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani here after their return from the ‘chintan baithak’ in Shimla, was that she would put in her papers after the short monsoon session in the State. A central party observer would then be sent to Jaipur and a new leader elected, well-placed BJP sources said. The party dismissed reports of any continued “rebellion” by Ms. Raje.
Separately, reports of a letter written by the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri to Mr. Rajnath Singh, deriding the central leadership was strongly denied. It was stated that Mr. Khanduri’s letter was among “nearly 400” letters received by Mr. Rajnath Singh ahead of the ‘chintan baithak’ analysing the party’s defeat in various States and giving reasons for the same . They also offered suggestions for corrective action for the consideration of the ‘baithak.’
Reports from Dehradun said Mr. Khanduri had told journalists that the party failed to properly analyse the loss of all the Lok Sabha seats from Uttarakhand before asking him to quit as Chief Minister. He reportedly said that he had become a “scapegoat.”