BJP leaders need to watch their words, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is watching. The ruling party’s supreme leader on Sunday gave fellow party men a lecture on how and when to “keep quiet”.
The growing habit among ruling party leaders to speak out of turn, sometimes even creating a controversy, has not gone down well with Modi.
“Every time I switch on television, I see a BJP leader making one or the other statement. You need lessons on keeping quiet,” a senior party functionary quoted Modi as saying during his concluding remarks at the BJP’s national executive meeting here.
Modi pointed to a party spokesman and said he needed to give BJP leaders lessons on how to keep their lips sealed, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“There is no need to speak every time someone puts a TV mike before you,” Modi was quoted as saying.
Modi has been repeatedly warning the BJP motormouths against speaking out of turn and leave that job to official party spokesmen.
He asked the party to be cautious of those trying to manufacture controversy, on issues such as intolerance.
Modi’s repeated advice, though, has not cut much ice with several BJP leaders who put the party and the government in a tight spot with their off-the-cuff remarks.
The BJP found itself in an indefensible position when its former Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay triggered a controversy with a remark on the skin colour of south Indians.