NATIONAL

SJM statements irk BJP, Govt.

NEW DELHI APRIL 15. The statements emanating from the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) seem to be out of step with the recent important decision in favour of regular interaction between the Bharatiya Janata Party and various RSS affiliates for improved coordination.

At the party's Indore conclave earlier this month, the party leadership took the view that the larger Sangh Parivar should present itself as a somewhat harmonious family rather than as quarrelling siblings out to get one another.

However, the SJM leadership's statements on Monday — almost suggesting that the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and his Ministers were out to sell the national wealth through the disinvestment process — has not gone down too well with the topmost echelons of the party and even the Government.

It is being pointed out that such statements coming from top senior Sangh Parivar leaders such as Dattopant Thengdi can only "confuse the BJP and RSS cadres" and that the "yatras'' which the SJM is threatening to take out through out the country, cannot but harm the party at a time when it is straining every nerve to prepare for the Assembly elections in four States.

It is not yet clear when and where senior BJP leaders will take up with the RSS bosses the issue of the SJM crossing the "Lakshman rekha" in its criticism of the Vajpayee Government's economic policy, but it may happen sooner rather than later.

Sources pointed out that while differences of opinion could be there and — the Government was always open to suggestions, alternative proposals and discussion — nothing could justify the kind of language used by the SJM leaders. There could be no discussion when the "basic integrity of the Government and its leaders is doubted", the sources said.

There is a view that ahead of the next round of World Trade Organisation negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, coming September, there should be no problem for the Government to discuss important issues that are likely to come up with anyone or any organisation willing to make worthwhile suggestions.

But just name-calling cannot resolve the harsh realities that developing countries such as India are faced with.

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