THE BHARTIYA Janata Party high command’s reported move to go in for a change of guard in the State before the Vidhan Sabha elections is facing stiff resistance from within the fragmented party.
The increasing dominance of the Sangh Parivar in party affairs and the proposed move to not go to polls under the leadership of State BJP chief Keshari Nath Tripathi and Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Lalji Tandon is being opposed by a lobby in the party, while the rival group demanding change of guard in the State is sure that it would be suicidal for the party if it goes to the hustings under the present leadership.
The reported move of the party high command to bring Kalraj Mishra and Kalyan Singh back to the central stage and hand over charge of the State before elections, has lead to more chaos and confusion in the organisation.
The recent meeting of Kalraj Mishra with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Delhi is being taken as yet another indicator of impending changes in the party hierarchy. However, no senior leader is ready to say anything on the vital issue of change in leadership for obvious reasons.
In fact, the responsibility to revamp and rejuvenate the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has been given to organising secretary Sanjay Joshi, who held several rounds of discussions with party leaders along with some representatives of the RSS. All of them, including some senior state BJP leaders, are unanimous in their view that it would be difficult to retain even 82 seats for the party under the present circumstances.
The party is not only divided in several vested interest groups it was in a coma for a long time. Some party leaders on various occasions have given a clear message that they were close to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and their personal interests were more important than that of the party. Even on the floor of the House, the BJP members have so far failed to take on the Mulayam Government confirming their proximity to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party.
State BJP chief Keshari Nath Tripathi is already in Delhi to discuss party affairs with the party high command, while Lalji Tandon left for Delhi tonight. Tandon along with other party leaders will meet farmers in Dadri, Ghaziabad on Monday. Former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh is scheduled to reach Lucknow on July 19 after a major by-pass surgery in Delhi. He has been recuperating in the capital.
Meanwhile, Lalji Tandon and former Excise Minister Surya Pratap Shahi today accused the Mulayam Government of not implementing various social welfare schemes initiated by the BJP governments in the past. They were speaking at the concluding session of the party’s Social Welfare Cell here on Sunday.