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Modi-Shah duopoly: Gadkari dumped, Rajnath retained in parliamentary board

DELHI DIARIES| Kailash Vijayvargiya’s criticism of Nitish Kumar, Bhupender Yadav and Nityanand Rai’s face loss and more
Trick to success.
Trick to success.
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The Editorial Board   |   Published 21.08.22, 04:06 AM

  Tricky equations 

  •   The minister of road transport, Nitin Gadkari, being dropped from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top decision-making body was big news. However, people wondered why the defence minister, Rajnath Singh, was retained in the parliamentary board. Both Gadkari and Singh fall in the very senior category of leaders, most of whom have been pushed to the margins by the Modi-Shah duopoly. Like Gadkari, Singh, too, praised India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, saying that while many people slammed Nehru, he would not do so. The statement was politically loaded since both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have targeted Nehru. Why, then, was Singh spared and Gadkari punished? Most feel that the powers that be did not want to annoy two seniors at the same time. But there may be another connection: Singh was retained, while the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, who was expected to be inducted into the top body given his rising national stature, was overlooked. There are whispers that Singh, the senior Thakur leader from UP, has been retained to counter the rising of Adityanath,who is also a Thakur. 

 Careless words

  •    The BJP’s national general-secretary,Kailash Vijayvargiya, returned to India after a month-long tour of the United States of America and immediately landed in a soup. Commenting on the Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar, quitting the National Democratic Alliance, he said, “someone told me it was like girls in America. They change boyfriends whenever they want. Nitish is also like that.” The Janata Dal (United) took umbrage and the party’s national president, Lalan Singh, threw a challenge: “Vijayvargiya is a very shallow person. He was BJP in-charge in Bengal and his party lost the 2021 polls there. The BJP should send him to Bihar for 2024 Lok Sabha and 2025 assembly elections.He will get to know his real value here.” If this was not enough, the Samajwadi Party leader, Akhilesh Yadav, added, “There is no hope for improvement in the condition of women during the BJP rule in the country when its leaders harbour such negative thoughts”.


Lost shine 

  • Senior BJP leaders and Union ministers, Bhupender Yadav and Nityanand Rai, suddenly lost their sheen after Nitish Kumar’s somersault.They were caught unawares by the situation. While Yadav was the party in-charge in Bihar, Rai had been busy projecting himself as a CM candidate. Considered to be in the good books of the Union home minister, Amit Shah, they gained supremacy in the state party unit. “Nitish’s crafty politics completely exposed both of them. They were all at sea in the aftermath and it left the party rudderless in Bihar. They had taken credit for NDA’s success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Bihar... but came out as inexperienced players during the recent developments,” a BJP old-timer said.

Balancing act 


  •  If the exit of BJP veterans, Nitin Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, from the parliamentary board has become a talking point, so has the induction of the Union minister, Sarbananda Sonowal. Most see it as a balancing act between Sonowal and the Assam CM, Himanta Biswa Sarma. The BJP sent the message that it will not bank on one person — Sarma — in the northeast, especially when four states will be going to polls next year. An immediate aim was to stop Sonowal’s admirers and well-wishers from switching over completely to the Sarma camp as the latter’s influence in the party grew. The reshuffle underlined that the party was above everyone and nothing was permanent.

Role reversal


  • Is the BJP on a sticky wicket in poll-bound Tripura? At a workshop, in the presence of the party’s IT cell chief, Amit Malviya, the Tripura CM urged the party’s social media volunteers to check the false propaganda of the Opposition, comparing it to what Joseph Goebbels did in Hitler’s Germany. The comparison to Goebbels shows that the Opposition is making an impact. But a party known for its well-oiled and overactive social media presence, exhorting its volunteers to counter negativity with positivity suggests that the upcoming polls will not be easy to crack for the ruling BJP.


Stern message


  •  The Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha CM, Naveen Patnaik, has sent a strong message by removing the media baron, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, from the post of party observer. Soumya Ranjan had turned critical of the CM and his style of governance and missed no opportunity of taking potshots. Naveen Patnaik has sent a stern message that no leader should cross the lakshman rekha. 



  •  The Karnataka CM, Basavaraj Bommai, completing one year in office is certainly cause for celebration.But it seems to be jinxed. Originally scheduled to be observed as Janotsava on July 28, it was rescheduled against the backdrop of the murder of a BJP Yuva Morcha worker in Dakshina Kannada, which led to unrest among the party’s colts. Re-scheduled to August 28, the celebration has been postponed again owing to the onset of the festival season when the intended celebration coincides with Gowri Puja and Ganesh Chathurthi. Bommai supporters will now have to wait for a fresh date.

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