People disappointed with BJP, feels LK Advani

L K Advani
New Delhi, May 31: BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday admitted that people were 'disappointed' with the party and appeared to be hitting out at party chief Nitin Gadkari by saying that the campaign against corruption had been hurt due to induction of an ousted BSP leader facing graft charges.

He said the BJP had not risen to the occasion at a time when there is anger against the UPA government over various scams. "If people are today angry with the UPA government, they are also disappointed with us. The situation calls for introspection," the BJP veteran wrote in his blog, 'BJP: a hub of hope', the first on organisational affairs after the party's National Executive where differences between leaders were in focus. "... when these days media persons attack the UPA government for its string of scams, but at the same time regret that the BJP-led NDA is not rising to the occasion, I as a former press person myself, feel they are reflecting public opinion correctly," he said.

Observing that the mood within the party "these days is not upbeat", he said: "The results in Uttar Pradesh (assembly polls), the manner in which the party welcomed BSP ministers who were removed by Mayawatiji on charges of corruption, its handling of Jharkhand and Karnataka, –have undermined the campaign against corruption."

The criticism with regard to welcoming of BSP Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, an accused in NRHM scam, appears to be a reference to Gadkari who was instrumental behind the induction before the controversy forced Kushwaha to distance himself from the party.

Advani noted that the BJP has a sizable contingent of MPs in Parliament as against the niggardly two seats in 1984, its performance in the two Houses of Parliament under Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley has been "excellent" and the party is in power in as many as nine states today. But still, he said that this is 'no compensation for the lapses committed'.

In an apparent reference to media focus on differences between BJP leaders during the party's National Executive meet in Mumbai, he said while politicians are generally critical of media persons, it is rare that media men themselves ridicule their own fraternity for indulging in political criticism "not because it is justified but because even while realising that the criticism is uninformed and superficial, the write-ups do add up to lazy copy."

He referred to the latest column by senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta wherein he said that "given the fact that the media thrives on stereotypes, caricatures, it was not very surprising that the bite brigade that descended on Mumbai last week at the BJP National Executive was looking for reaffirmations of set conclusions." Quoting Dasgupta's piece, he said everyone in the BJP is not on the same page is a truism. He said no political party in India, not even the CPI(M), possesses an army where every member think alike.

Advani recalled that at a meeting of the BJP's Core Committee some weeks back, attended by several senior RSS leaders, he had reminisced about his 60 years' political journey since the launching of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951. "...I cannot think of a more depressing year than 1984, when in the Eighth Lok Sabha Elections that took place that year, our party had put up 229 candidates. Our score in the Lok Sabha was a miserable 1984, I was party president and so felt extremely downcast," he said. He said a committee set up by the party to analyse the poll results 'objectively' found that the rank and file, as well as the support base, was not demoralised due to the results, which were attributed to the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh backed Advani and slammed Gadkari, saying the latter had never won an election in his life.


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