Arun Jaitley (56) quit as BJP general secretary three days after L.K. Advani (81) appointed him Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha on June 3, specifically saying he was doing so in line with the party’s “one man-one post” rule.
But party chief Rajnath Singh (57) announced Jaitley’s resignation and its acceptance on Tuesday – four days ahead of an expected stormy BJP
conclave, raising questions as to whether there’s more to it.
Jaitley did not quit as Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, which is the bone of contention among senior leaders who blame him for the BJP’s debacle.
Rajnath held that Jaitley’s letter was sent to him “six-seven” days ago, and it had nothing to do with other leaders questioning Advani’s decision to appoint Jaitley.
Did Rajnath hold it back all these days to let senior leaders like Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha attack Jaitley? Is the BJP chief trying to cancel the party’s national executive meet, slated for June 20 and 21, because Jaitley is away from the country till the end of the month?
Some BJP leaders saw Rajnath’s tacit support for the rebellion by Jaswant Singh (71) and Yashwant Sinha (71) as trying to embarrass Advani who appointed Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha and Sushma Swaraj (56) as deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.Swaraj, however, said Jaitley was only following the party’s rule of one man-one post and added too much should not be read into the fact that Rajnath announced his resignation.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi (75) appeared to flay Rajnath for his gag order.
“Our party president has warned members against speaking about the party situation before the media,” he said in Allahabad. “During my days (as party chief) things like these happened. Then I told everyone not to speak about this outside. Our colleagues always complied and I was never compelled to pass a gag order. Moreover, no one used to quit then.”