A party with differences
Whoever said that the BJP doesn’t hold the idea of pluralism dear to its heart? Here is a party that allows statements made by its leaders to the media to be interpreted in various colourful ways — including the chestnut ‘being misquoted by the media’. L.K. Advani is a man who is so deft with his words that we are liable to believe them even when they appear to make contradictory statements. So there is nothing surprising about his blaming the media for giving the impression that he was against the release of three terrorists in exchange of the hijacked passengers of Flight IC-814 in December 1999. The media’s defence is that he had indeed made this statement in Pune last week. But then, who would you rather believe: a reporter with a tape recorder or a senior leader caught committing yet another snafu?
But there’s no point fixating on Mr Advani. His situation is symptomatic of the BJP that, despite ruling in several states, has become increasingly incoherent as a national party. The two rath yatras flagged off by party president Rajnath Singh and Mr Advani will culminate in a rally, but as far as their purpose goes, it is anything but stereophonic. If the BJP is at pains to show how successful it is at rallying party cadres, that is also something we have to believe as a matter of faith, rather than empirical evidence. Even party stalwarts such as Pramod Mahajan sound out of sync with the official BJP programme. If ‘exposing the failures of the UPA government’ is the general tagline of the ongoing campaign, the principal opposition party is committing the biggest communication error of them all: that of being inaudible.
Somehow, the BJP has not recovered — what can be colourfully called — its ‘mojo’. But on a less frivolous note, one is witnessing not the vacuum in a party that is awaiting its second-generation leaders to take the steering wheel, but one in which the very act of breathing has become a complex, contradictory task. Thus, the spate of political hiccups from the party with a difference.
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- Earlier this month, CBI in the first charge-sheet in the case had named BSF Commandant Satish Kumar and Murshidabad-based businessman Enamul Haque along with five others for their alleged involvement in cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh border.
- The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat apart from Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde were of the view that magistrates should play a more “intrusive” role in investigation.
- Police said the accused and the victim were in a relationship for a year, but of late she had been avoiding him.
- The national carrier at present is operating only special passenger trains since the curbs on lockdown were eased. Regular passenger trains have been suspended since March 25, 2020.
- Both the casualties took place due to IED blasts.