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Succession war is between the lines of Jaswant to Rajnath

The bitter succession war in BJP is likely to intensify as the incumbent president Rajnath Singh’s term ends in December.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
June 12, 2009 10:28:23 am

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s letter,circulated to the BJP core committee members on Thursday,which called for fixing responsibility for the party’s debacle in the general election betrays the bitter succession war in the party likely to intensify as the incumbent president Rajnath Singh’s term ends in December.

In his one-and-a-half-page letter,the newly elected MP from Darjeeling pointed to a growing tendency among “party leaders becoming too self-centered to serve the public cause. “Swa is to be found both in swayam (self) and swarth (self-interest),” reads his letter,written in chaste Hindi.

Demanding a thorough analysis of the results,the former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha has demanded to know why the BJP’s first debacle — in 2004 — wasn’t discussed at party fora. Jaswant also wanted to know about the supposed “de-linking of rewards with performance (puraskar aur parinam) in the party setup,obliquely directing his attack at the newly installed Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha,Arun Jaitley,who headed the party’s election campaign.

Demanding “accountability to be fixed for those managing elections”,Jaswant in his letter expressed “surprise over election analysis being done through newspaper columns”. Jaswant also wanted to know why there had been no analysis of the recent Assembly elections in Delhi and Rajasthan,where the BJP suffered a rout.

Jaswant mentioned a couplet by Goswami Tulsidas in his letter. The couplet “par updesh kushal bahutere,je aachrahi te nar na ghanere” (those who preach to the world but fail to live up to the same ideals count little in public life),said sources close to Jaswant,“explained in a nutshell what he wanted to convey to the party brass”.

Sources say Jaswant has been miffed ever since his claim for the Leader of Opposition position in Lok Sabha was ignored in favour of a much younger Sushma Swaraj,who was designated as deputy leader in Lok Sabha. She’s likely to be elevated to the LoP position once Advani vacates the slot.

Jaswant’s letter was thus also directed at Advani,who along with the RSS,made a strong pitch for a generational change in the BJP,necessitating Sushma’s elevation in the Lok Sabha.

For the record,party president Rajnath Singh asked Jaswant to keep copies of the letter and raise it at the national executive slated for June 20-21.

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