BJP is in bad shape, says L K Advani

BJP is in bad shape, says L K Advani

The divide in the national BJP was out in the open on Thursday, as veteran leader L K Advani launched a thinly veiled attack against party president Nitin Gadkari’s handling of party affairs, mainly in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka.

Writing in his blog, the saffron patriarch said the mood in the BJP was “not upbeat” and there was a need for “introspection” within the party.

“When mediapersons attack the UPA government for its string of scams, and at the same time regret that the BJP-led NDA is not rising to the occasion, I, as a former pressman myself, feel they are reflecting public opinion correctly,” said the seniormost BJP leader.

Advani’s criticism of the party leadership seems to have upset Gadkari and his followers. A meeting held during the day at Gadkari’s residence, apparently to assess the countrywide ‘bandh’ turned into a show of solidarity with the party president. The attendees at the meeting included Swaraj, known to be close to Advani.

In his blog Advani mentioned that at a meeting of the BJP’s Core Committee some weeks back, he had said, “if people are today angry with the UPA government, they are also disappointed with us. The situation calls for introspection.”

Drawing a comparison with the Lok Sabha poll results in 1984 when the BJP netted only two seats but cadres remained upbeat, Advani said now, when the party has sizeable strength in the Lok Sabha, the party was not positively charged. 

“The mood within the party these days is not upbeat. The results in UP, the manner in which the party welcomed BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha who was removed by Mayawatiji on charges of  corruption, the party’s handling of (Rajya Sabha nomination from) Jharkhand and (solidarity to former chief minister Yeddyurappa in) Karnataka – all these events have undermined  the party’s campaign against corruption,” Advani said.

At the May 24-25 Mumbai executive, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi forced Gadkari to make his arch political rival Sanjay Joshi, a former party general secretary (organisation), resign from the national executive.

Modi attended the meeting only after Joshi, who has been politically rehabilitated by Gadkari, put in his papers. An upset Advani did not attend the customary post-executive rally. This apart, Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Arun Jaitley and Swaraj also do not vibe well with each other.

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