Shedding inhibitions of a section of its members,the BJP on Sunday agreed to merge the Janata Party into itself. The decision was formalised Sunday evening after a meeting between BJP president Rajnath Singh and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy which was attended by the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and former party president Nitin Gadkari at Singhs residence in the capital.
The decision comes weeks after Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy expressed willingness to merge his party with the BJP. A strong section of the party was opposed to Swamys induction given the partys experience with Ram Jethmalani,who embarrassed the party several times while being a member. The matter culminated into his expulsion recently.
We have seen how Ram Jethmalani ridiculed and painted BJP in poor light. There is no guarantee Swamy will not do so, a senior party leader said. But,the objections were overwhelmed by the RSS support for the move.
The RSS has been supportive of the idea. Advani is also supporting. In fact,Advani got him inducted to the NDA. After Swamy reached out to Narendra Modi,there was no stopping the induction, a leader said.
After the merger,party leaders expect Swamy to maintain decorum in his personalised attacks on political adversaries,particularly the Gandhi family,and tone down his vitriolic.
Those supportive of the merger see him as an asset when elections are only a few months away.
He will be an asset for the party. Particularly when elections are only few months away. He will be a deterrent against Congress,which is in the habit of attacking Modi personally. They should now be ready to get it back in their language, a party MP said.