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Sushma Swaraj vs Arun Jaitley!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
After Mrs. Sushma Swaraj gave an interview to Outlook weekly the BJP went in an overdrive to claim that there were no differences in the highest echelons of its parliamentary party. The party blamed the media for assuming a non-existent rift within the party.
It was a simple question that merited a simple answer. She could have said that she had cordial relations with them as a party colleague. If questioned further, she could have denied having any other political or business links with them. Instead she gave a very long reply saying: “There can't be a bigger lie. Let me tell you the truth. I have no hand in the political making of the Bellary brothers. I had nothing to do in making them ministers or in building up their stature as political leaders. When the Bellary brothers were made ministers, Jaitelyji was in charge, Yediyurappa was the chief minister, Venkaiahji and Ananth Kumar were there as senior leaders. Whatever discussion happened, happened between these people. I had nothing to do with it… after being told by Rajnathji and Jaitleyji, I spoke to the brothers. My photograph with them is from that time. It has been printed everywhere and people have been saying I am the protector of the Bellary brothers. I have nothing to do with them, whether in their business or their political rise… there's a huge campaign of misinformation and disinformation against me… I haven’t even played a zero percent role in the political making of the Bellary brothers. Whatever they got wealth wise was the doing of the Congress… What the Bellary brothers gained politically was because of Yediyurappa and … Arun Jaitley…”
Does one sense a touch of panic in this response?
More significantly, this is the third time that Mrs. Swaraj has served the interests of the Congress party.
Most significantly, Mrs. Swaraj’s conduct should be seen in the larger context. Her mentor, Mr. LK Advani, was no less sympathetic to protecting the interests of the Congress party. Mr. Advani had charged Mrs. Sonia Gandhi with having a foreign bank account. He had very good reason to do so. There were very credible allegations to that effect made by official and reputed foreign sources. Mrs. Gandhi wrote to Mr. Advani assuring him that she had no foreign bank account. That was sufficient to convince Mr. Advani! He promptly apologized to Mrs. Gandhi. That led me to write: “What touching faith between the two most senior leaders respectively of the Congress and the BJP. Is this the prelude to an openly declared partnership between them?”
In the light of all this the BJP cannot blame the media for concluding that not only is there a rift within the BJP; there also seems to be covert cross-party alliances between different sections within the Congress and the BJP that are opposed to each other. This kind of Byzantine intrigue and conspiracy suggests vulnerable politicians who are open to blackmail and coercion. The RSS is reputed to have the final say in matters related to the BJP. Both the RSS and the BJP President are doing their best to play down the controversy ignited by the press interview given by Mrs. Swaraj. By denying a rift after Mrs. Swaraj’s outburst BJP leaders do not deceive the world. They only deceive themselves. It is a typical and predictable reaction. The BJP top brass dare not make any move to rock the boat. They should know that the boat is sinking.
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