It was Jaswant Singh’s book on Wednesday, and a mysterious “note” on Thursday. The Bharatiya Janata Party hasn’t had so much trouble over the written word as it has in the past two days.
The note — by party official Bal Apte — hit headlines for its analysis of the poll debacle, essentially blaming a section of the leadership. The big news was that it was discussed at the chintan baithak.
But party leader Arun Jaitley denied that at a news conference called to counter Jaswant Singh’s charges. When the story refused to die, BJP president Rajnath Singh too refuted it.
So, what is this note? It is a clutch of observations made by a three-member committee, headed by Apte, assigned to talk to party state units and ascertain reasons for the poor show.
The observations were mostly critical of the poll strategy team, led by Jaitley. And Jaswant was among the three leaders who’d internally raised questions about the strategists.
The surfacing of the note was seen as another attempt to embarrass the strategists.
“No such paper was tabled or discussed,” Jaitley said. And then went on to address the issues raised by Jaswant Singh. “The issue is not your right to author a book but what you say and what you write.”
Jaswant had on Wednesday said it would be a sad day when people were prevented from reading and writing.
“No party can allow any member... to write and express views against the core ideology of the party,” Jaitley said.
He said Jaswant Singh had committed grave indiscipline and gone against party ideology in his views on M. A. Jinnah and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
In Delhi, Jaswant challenged Jaitley’s contention: “I don't know which part of the core belief has been demolished (by his views in his book on Jinnah).”
He also made it clear that he was upset with LK Advani for not standing by him now.