Those who defend the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against charges that the party’s view of India is undemocratic, might have a case. In the Prime Minister’s Office, the visitors’ room has a stack of newspapers and magazines to keep guests occupied as they wait to meet officials. Conspicuously missing from the stack are periodicals like Panchajanya and Kamal Sandesh. Instead, there are glossy travel and tourism magazines and also, somewhat unaccountably, the Economic and Political Weekly, where the lead article in the latest issue says: “Whether personal relationships with American leadership can be used as a war winning strategy in the Indian subcontinent remains a matter of concern given the historical miscalculations”. You can’t accuse the BJP of not being self critical.
Disharmony in the party
Senior BJP leader and food and civil supplies minister Saryu Roy has turned rebel in Jharkhand and may contest against Chief Minister Raghubar Das as an independent from the Jamshedpur East assembly constituency. He is expected to announce his decision today (Sunday). This will be a huge embarrassment for the ruling BJP, which is also losing the support of its allies like All Jharkhand Students’ Union, Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party. Roy has not been given ticket so far at the behest of Das, who is unhappy with the minister. “Saryu has been critical of his government on many issues. He has openly questioned moves of the government on many occasions, which has put Das in an embarrassing situation,” party sources have told local newspapers. The issue is not whether he wins or loses but that there is dissonance at such a high level in the party.