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Shourie likens BJP to ‘Alice in Blunderland’
Published on 25 Aug. 2009 12:19 AM IST
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Voices of dissent became louder in the BJP on Monday with senior party leader Arun Shourie hitting out at the top leadership and terming president Rajnath Singh as ‘Alice in Blunderland’. In an interview to a private news channel, Shourie likened Singh to “Humpty Dumpty” and called for the replacement of the leadership in the BJP. He also said that leadership from the states should be brought into the central fold and suggested that RSS should take over the party. He however denied using the term ‘Humpty Dumpty’ against Singh. “It was for the attitude of the party leadership that while on the one hand they take action against indiscipline while on the other they were silent on those who were planting stories in the media. He also reportedly called the party a ‘kati patang’. “Is the BJP a private company? Why are we not heard?” an angry Shourie asked reporters. He also dismissed his party’s charge that he was speaking out as his Rajya Sabha term was coming to an end. “This is ridiculous. I have been saying these things since the last three years,” he said, according to ZeeNews. He said the BJP was acting wrongly when it considered removing Vasundhara Raje from the post of the Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan despite 57 MLAs standing by her. He also said, in the same vein, removing Khanduri from Himachal Pradesh CM post was also wrong as he had the support of 28 MLAs. The statement comes a day after Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close aide of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, severed his links with the party on grounds of serious “ideological differences”. Kulkarni refused to comment on Shourie’s remarks. An erstwhile speech-writer of Advani, the 52-year-old Kulkarni said he was ending his “active association” with the party as he wanted to have the “freedom to express” his views. Shourie also said that he had asked RSS to keep a tighter control on the party and its working, ‘just like an eagle.’ He told reporters that RSS need not give so much democracy to the party. “Our MPs’ names came in various scandals but the RSS kept quiet. It’s the question of our credibility,” he added. He said the RSS should use the hunter and that it was now or never. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the development as ‘very serious’ but did not elaborate as to what action his party would take. Rajiv Pratap Rudy termed the outburst unfortunate and said Shourie was only repeating what he had earlier said but the timing of the current outburst was suspicious. “May be its because we haven’t been able to give some of our leaders high post as we lost the election this time,” he added. Shourie also asked who would take moral responsibility for the defeat of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. He said there is a lack of strong leadership in the party and corrupt leaders were not being punished. The Saffron party is in a state of turmoil since Jaswant Singh eulogised Jinnah in his book “Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence.” Jaswant was expelled from the party because of bad-mouthing Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, as per the BJP. On that issue, Shourie said Jaswant was expelled from the party without even anyone in the BJP reading the book. “The book was released at 7.30pm and the party gave a statement at 8.30pm. Who read the book?” The book created an uproar in the BJP as many partymen felt that the suggestions in the book were against the party ideology. Shourie was one of the senior BJP leaders who had raised objection on the way party was being run and had also insisted that blame for the Lok Sabha defeat be fixed. On being pointed out that his party may take strong action against his outburst, Shourie said he was not worried. “I have pointed out to the top leaders about the problems in the party both directly and indirectly. But there has been no development. Let them take action against me but its wrong to say I am seeking publicity,” he said.

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