President on bail, MPs for jail…
While the general election campaign was in full swing this writer pointed out several glaring errors of strategy that were being committed by the BJP. For a party with a declared objective of gaining single party majority – which it has obtained – it made no sense to seek pre-poll alliances with leaders exerting little impact on voters. What was worse, some of the defections engineered by the party were opportunistic and made nonsense of the party’s claim of being principled and committed against corruption and crime. I shall not reiterate some of those decisions that brought about no significant gain to the party’s final tally. But one decision criticized earlier is now inflicting the anticipated damage to the party’s reputation.
Mr. Amit Shah who was in charge of the campaign in Uttar Pradesh did everything he could to maximize the BJP seat tally. But did he not go overboard by engineering defections of thoroughly unsuitable entrants? Mr. Brij Bhushan Saran Singh’s past was no secret. He was the BJP leader who led the biggest contingent of kar sewaks from his constituency in Gonda which demolished the Babri Masjid. Later he defected to the Samajwadi Party. He was convicted by a TADA court for criminal activity. In the TADA court Mr. Brij Bhushan admitted that he previously had links with Dawood Ibrahim. And this was the leader that the BJP thought fit to admit back into its fold in order to gain one more seat in parliament.
Mr. Brij Bhushan defected from the Samajwadi Party and rejoined the BJP which welcomed him with open arms. The undesirability of this move was pointed out by this writer in these columns at some length. It was to no avail. Not only was this former Dawood link admitted to the BJP but he was welcomed with honour in a function graced by Mr. Narendra Modi himself.
On March 25, 2014 it was written: “Some of Mr. Modi’s decisions up till now have been disastrous. Sharing the dais to welcome…Mr. Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, a self confessed associate of Dawood Ibrahim and former convicted prisoner of a TADA court was (one).” Mr. Brij Bhushan won the election and became a BJP MP. Now along with another BJP MP who was his accomplice he has been issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for his criminal role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Could not such a contingency have been foreseen? Perhaps Mr. Amit Shah who has spent time in jail, faces charges in murder cases, and is presently on bail, thought Mr. Brij Bhushan’s past record a trivial affair. Perhaps he thinks that a sitting BJP MP being arrested for crime also to be a trivial affair. But do all the supporters and fans of the Modi government, who look forward to “Achhe din”, share this view?