New Delhi, March 3: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani Sunday urged party chief Rajnath Singh to adopt “zero tolerance” against corruption and cautioned party leaders against indiscipline and speaking out of turn before TV cameras.
In his speech delivered at the party’s national council meeting here, Advani cautioned party leaders against indiscipline and speaking out of turn before TV cameras but he elaborated on the issue with much more forthrightness in his written speech the text of which was made available to media.
The written speech talked about the need for reaching out to minorities and to remedy the situation created by the BJP gaining image of “party with differences” over the last few years but both issues did not form part of his address.
In the written speech, Advani appeared to have made a veiled criticism of former party chief Nitin Gadkari as he referred to the party’s inability to respond adequately to the people’s mood against corruption following support to Anna Hazare’s movement.
“Unfortunately, the BJP failed to read, and respond adequately to this mood. In the two houses of parliament, the party attacked government strongly on both these issues. But our overall response outside was a disappointment for even our own supporters,” Advani said.
Speaking at the council, Advani cautioned party leaders against indiscipline and speaking out of turn in before TV cameras, while he elaborated on the issue with much more forthrightness in his written speech.
In the speech, he mentioned how when BJP was formed in 1980, its then leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee had urged party leaders that it should be a party with difference. However, on the contrary, the image of BJP that has gained ground over the last few years is that of party with differences which also keeps talking with multiple voices, he noted. This was also omitted in the delivered speech.
Stressing internal cohesion, especially at the organisation’s top levels is allowed to be weakened by lack of internal discipline, the party begins to project an image of an organisation suffering from internal differences, Advani urged Rajnath Singh “to start taking firm steps to remedy this situation”. This was also skipped.
The veteran leader also elaborated on the need to make National Democratic Alliance stronger, a reference seen in political circles as disapproval of demands for projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate.
Allies of BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are divided on projecting Modi as prime ministerial candidate. Janata Dal-United is opposed to projecting Modi while Shiv Sena favours Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, as prime ministerial candidate.
The written speech also said that BJP must credibly convey its conviction that it cares equally for every section of society.
“I believe that the mutual equation between the BJP and the minorities must be changed, in order to achieve a fundamental transformation in India’s democracy, development and national integration. The BJP must take the initiative in this direction by including a charter of commitments to the minorities in its Agenda of Governance and Development,” he said but also skipped this part.
The written speech said Modi was “the most unfairly maligned politician in the history of independent India”, but while speaking, Advani only hailed Modi for his third successive electoral victory in Gujarat and praised his speech as well that of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
However, he was more lavish in praising party leader Sushma Swaraj’s speech, virtually comparing her oratorical skills to that of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.