New Delhi, July 1: The BJP rose to the defence of its beleaguered president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, saying anybody who levels “unfounded” charges at him is “mentally disturbed”.
Naidu will not be available for “any further responsibility after the accomplishment of Mission 2004”, the party said, adding that he is not aspiring for anything else.
As Naidu completed one year in the office today, happily coinciding with his birthday, the party issued an eight-page press release highlighting his achievements and described him as “everybody’s president”, acceptable to the Prime Minister, the deputy Prime Minister and all party leaders and workers.
But a jarring note was presented by reports in a section of the media about a letter reportedly written by a former BJP Union minister to the Prime Minister, drawing his attention to the various irregularities allegedly committed by Naidu during his tenure as the rural development minister.
Naidu, who narrowly managed to emerge unscathed from the vikas purush-lauh purush controversy of his making, was so upset that he rang up the Prime Minister from London, where he has gone to attend some Telugu NRI functions, to defend himself.
The letter, reportedly written by Shanta Kumar who succeeded Naidu in the ministry, alleged misuse of government funds worth crores by his predecessor. Kumar was dropped from the Cabinet following uncharitable remarks against former Himachal Pradesh chief minister P.K. Dhumal in the run-up to the Assembly election in the state in February.
A section in the party now suspects Naidu’s hand in getting Kumar axed because he had “detected” and “rectified” many irregularities committed by Naidu.
Party spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, without taking Kumar’s name, said “mentally disturbed people talk about such things. His (Naidu’s) tenure in the rural development ministry is considered a golden era”.
Posts for women
In its bid to give more representation to women, the BJP proposes to amend its constitution so as to have one more post each of vice-president, general secretary and national secretary from the lowest to the national level.
The party is also contemplating allowing a person to contest for the president’s post for a second term after a gap of three years.