Against the backdrop of a row over induction of tainted Uttar Pradesh leader Babu Singh Kushwaha, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday conceded that his party is only "70 % pure" as he contended that every party has to make compromises for "practical wisdom".
Sinha, who had threatened to resign in August last year feeling that the party was not raising the issue of corruption as aggressively as desired, defended the induction of Kushwaha, former UP Minister who is being investigated by CBI in NRHM scam.
He refused to accept that the induction, which has now been put on hold in view of criticism including within, had tarnished BJP's image and claimed that his party was still different from others "in terms of quality and scale".
The former union minister told PTI, "Every party in Parliamentary democracy has to do this (compromise). It has not been done for the first time and also certainly not for the last time."
Contending that "Nobody or party can claim to be 100 % pure", he said, "But, BJP is 70 % pure while others are only 20 % (pure). So, still BJP is a party with a difference."
He was reacting when asked how BJP could claim to be a "party with a difference" even after induction of Kushwaha, which came on top of the party forming government in Jharkhand with the support of JMM against whose leader Shibu Soren who is facing corruption charges.
"No political party runs as a theological or charitable organisation. As per age-old dictum that politics is an art of possible, every party has to combine ideology and practical wisdom," he said.
Sinha, an in-house critic who has raised voice against leadership on various occasions including the MA Jinnah episode surrounding LK Advani, was asked why he did not speak up against Kushwaha's induction.
"I have raised voice within the party on many issues I did not agree. But you cannot make my some stand in the past as a touchstone for everything in future too," he said.
"I agree with the party on the stand on the two issues," he said, referring to Kushwaha's induction as well as taking help of JMM for forming government in his home state Jharkhand.
When referred to the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and four other states, Sinha admitted that the absence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the scene affects the party.
"Vajpayeeji is no doubt the tallest leader of BJP. And when he is not active in politics it does affect BJP. But, this is the manner in which the history works," he said.
Sinha refused to agree with media survey which has put BJP at fourth position after SP, BSP and Congress in UP poll. "It cannot be taken on face value. BJP will perform well in all the state assemblies elections including in UP".