July 2, 2016 4:50:36 am
With both the party and the Prime Minister giving clear signs of displeasure over his controversial tweets, Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday said there will be “few tweets” from him for one week.
Sources in the BJP said the nominated MP and party national executive member has been “advised by the organisation” to go slow and to “not embarrass the government and the party” — especially at a time when both are “busy reaching the positive message” of the NDA government’s achievements in the two years at the helm.
While party leaders gave conflicting information on who has conveyed the advice to Swamy, the MP tweeted in the afternoon: “Now Ram Temple, NH (National Herald), Impleading in Swami Dayananda’s WP (Writ Petition) in SC, Aircel Maxis, CSK (Chennai Super Kings) ban etc requires me to concentrate. So few tweets for 1 week.”
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Earlier in the day, Swamy’s tweets were loaded as usual. One such tweet, seen as a swipe at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said: “If I apply Samuelson-Swamy Theory of Index Numbers to India’s GDP calculation or RBI interests rates, media will scream anti party activity!”
His other tweet, a couple of hours later, also drew criticism, as it referred to Bangladeshis as barbarians. “It is painful to see daily murder of Hindu priests and activists in B’Desh. Hindu blood was shed to liberate these barbarians to create Bdesh,” Swamy tweeted.
While two party leaders said the RSS has informally asked him to go slow on his contentious tweets, another source said BJP president Amit Shah has spoken to Swamy, who has over the months attacked RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan (following which he has announced his decision not to seek a second term), Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
Several BJP leaders have also expressed strong disapproval against Swamy’s tweets targeting Jaitley.
Party leaders wanted the top leadership to warn Swamy, as they felt he has overstepped “limits of decency” and is even “weakening the foundations of the government” by targeting officials and attacking the senior minister publicly.
But it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who spoke out. In an interview with the Times Now channel, Modi said: “Whether it is in my party or not, I think such things are inappropriate. This fondness for publicity is never going to do any good to the nation. People should conduct themselves with utmost responsibility. If anybody considers himself above the system, it is wrong. I am very clear about this.”
Sources in the party said it was a “clear warning” to Swamy. “The Prime Minister had not given any clearer warning
to anyone in the party in the last two years,” said a minister in the Union Cabinet.
Sources said the BJP leadership does not want Swamy to embarrass the government any further.
“When the party and the government were trying to send a positive message about the government, it was getting lost because of the controversy over his tweets,” one leader said.
However, another party leader said the attempts by a section of party to “distance” Swamy from the party has not been successful.
“Swamy is (as) accepted in the party as before. He became an MP because the RSS wanted so,” the BJP leader said. “The party and the Sangh need him, especially at a time when the party is preparing to fight the electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh.”
Swamy, along with the VHP, recently revived the debate on Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
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