A glaring picture in red stares at you and you think, perhaps you have entered a BJP site. The picture is that of BJP founder Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But what is more glaring is the note in Hindi accompanying that, which says:
"Shri Modi did not follow the Rajdharm. Vajpayeeji did not consider Modi eligible for being the Chief Minister; will your country's future be in safe in his hands?"
BJP, however, did not react as vehemently as anyone would have expected. While Congress defended their stance by using Vajpayee's picture even in its official briefings, BJP asked the Congress to remove Vajpayee's picture from the website.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had stated his views about the Gujarat riots clearly. When the NDA-led government was ousted by the UPA in 2004 elections, his doubts had become a reality. He had said that the NDA failed because of Narendra Modi's inability to control the Gujarat riots in 2002. He believed that the party will lose its credibility unless it took action against Modi.
According to Vajpayee, Modi had not performed the Rajdharma of protecting his subjects. The former had even written letters to the latter asking him not to discriminate on the basis of caste, creed and religion, but to no avail. Vajpayee had even threatened to resign if action was not taken against Modi.
Congress now is banking on these facts, questioning: "How can a person who failed in his Rajdharma as chief minister ever ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of India?"
Congress attaches a number of conspiracy theories to BJP's present stature. The website says,"Having found a new icon in Shri Modi, the BJP is working hard to distance itself from the Vajpayee legacy. Consider this. Shri Vajpayee's niece, Smt Karuna Shukla was forced to leave the party.
She is presently with the Congress. Shri Jaswant Singh, a close confidante of Shri Vajpayee, has been expelled from the party. And Dr Subramainan Swamy, a known adversary of Shri Vajpayee who is even reported to have masterminded the downfall of the Vajpayee government in 1998, has been given a prominent place in the BJP!
The BJP might forget Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But every Indian must ponder over the questions he raised on the man who is now the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate. Not just the handling of the riots, Shri Vajpayee believed that the Modi government wasn't doing enough to provide relief and rehabilitation to those who had been displaced during the riots."