While the BJP has lent support to social activist Anna Hazare in his campaign against corruption, its national spokesperson Tarun Vijay criticised the campaign for having left the opposition out of the joint committee.
“Anna accepted the father-son duo. Included pro-Maoists. Had government nominees…. yet none from opposition in committee. Democracy?” Tarun Vijay wrote on Facebook. “Turning opposition untouchable is not good for Anna’s democratic movement.”
The BJP has, however, officially chosen to go with Hazare despite the anti-politics tone of his supporters, attacking the government for “angering” people by not being responsive to the concerns about rampant corruption. The party hopes to benefit from any adverse fallout the campaign has on the government.
When asked whether the party supported Vijay’s line, his colleague Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Consensus has to be evolved at any cost… Public has come out in anger.”
A senior leader however disagreed with Vijay, saying that had the party been in the committee, it would have had to take a clear position between the government’s primacy in drafting legislation and the fight against corruption. “Now the government has to negotiate with the activists, and any further damage to the government’s standing before people due to this will benefit us by default,” he added.
Asked whether the BJP shared the concern that the rhetoric against politicians was undermining democracy and allowing civil society activists to pressurise the political class, a BJP leader said, “When the civil society was undermining the government of Gujarat, the Congress was celebrating it... Let them face it now.”