|Jaitley and Sushma
New Delhi, Aug. 20: BJP MPs today raised an issue that has long rankled with them: the “disconnect” in strategy planning and floor management by Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley and his Lok Sabha counterpart Sushma Swaraj.
Many MPs said the party ought to be more “confrontationist” against the UPA. “They have read the signals from Gandhinagar correctly. Like Narendrabhai (Narendra Modi), they want the parliamentary leaders to attack the UPA head on,” a source said.
The rumblings unfolded at this morning’s weekly meeting of party MPs. Yashwant Sinha — a Lok Sabha member who has acquired a reputation for being one of the most “outspoken” MPs — pointed to a difference.
He asked why was it that while the lower House was getting adjourned almost daily because the BJP “persistently pursued” contentious issues, the upper House functioned smoothly and even passed legislations.
Sinha’s allusion was to the alleged dodgy land deals transacted by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Last week, he raised it in the Lok Sabha and was joined by BJP backbenchers.
On the same day, the BJP brought it up in the Rajya Sabha. Narendra Modi aide and Gujarat MP Purshottam Rupala led the charge from the back but party colleagues seated in the front row kept quiet.
The RSS is learnt to be “furious” with the BJP brass for not taking the campaign to its “logical” conclusion.
Some insiders construed Sinha’s remarks as a “commentary” on the “bonhomie” that Jaitley and his deputy in the Rajya Sabha, Ravi Shankar Prasad, share with junior parliamentary affairs minister Rajiv Shukla, who handles the government’s floor tactics in the upper House.
The Congress’s Shukla, regarded as “affable” across the political spectrum, is Prasad’s brother-in-law. The minister and Jaitley bond over cricket. Jaitley is a BCCI office-bearer. Shukla chaired the IPL until recently.
Asked about today’s meeting, Sinha said: “It was an internal meeting. I don’t wish to say anything.”