Sunday August 19, 2018
Home India Most party le...

Most party leaders ‘were with me’, says BJP leader Shanta Kumar

0
//
37
Republish
Reprint

shanta-kumar

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shanta Kumar has said that most of the party leaders “were with me” on the issue of Vyapam and Sushma Swaraj-Vasundhara Raje episodes.

In an interview to India Today television channel, the former Himachal Pradesh chief minister said three of the BJP ministers actually congratulated him for taking up the issue with BJP party chief Amit Shah, and appreciated that he took up something which they also wanted to speak on but felt scared to.

“Three of the ministers said that you did good work,” he said while terming as “false” the media reports suggesting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him.

Kumar, who denied reports that Modi had ticked him off for his July 10 letter to the party president, said he has not spoken to the prime minister since writing that letter.

The BJP leader also said the Vyapam scam and allegations against Raje needed to be thoroughly investigated. “I did not ask for resignation (of Raje), it needs to be probed,” he said.

On the BJP, Kumar said, it used to be a party with a difference but now the difference has diminished and eroded.

“When I wrote that letter, and even now, I believe that these incidents (controversies involving Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan) have damaged the image of the BJP,” he said, and added that something should be done to arrest any further damage.

He also emphasised that the BJP “must introspect” on the issue.

On Swaraj, Kumar said if what she told to the BJP parliamentary committee was correct, there was no need for her to resign.

Asked if she should resign, he said he did not know the facts and hence could not comment on the issue.

On his interview to a website in April 2002, in which he had said that if he were Narendra Modi he would have quit after the Gujarat killings, Kumar said he still maintains that view.

“It was an assessment based on my conscious. But in 2014 before the general elections it was I who said that Narendra Modi should lead the party in elections and be made candidate for prime ministership,” he said.

Asked if he felt disappointed at the current state of affairs in the BJP, Kumar said he is a “well-wisher” and wants it to remain “the party with difference”.

(With inputs from IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

0
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.