19 June, 2021

Darker Shades Of Grey

Discord is the ruling flavour as the old guard instals puppets

Darker Shades Of Grey

That the BJP is taking hard knocks in its erstwhile bastions is now clear even to its most ardent supporters. But while the focus has been on the disarray in the party's UP unit, new eruptions of discontent and factionalism are being reported from Rajasthan and Gujarat as well.

In fact, the symbolism of what can only be called the "three (old) men in a party" phenomenon - 78-year-old Ram Prakash Gupta, Uttar Pradesh CM; 77-year-old Keshubhai Patel, his counterpart in Gujarat; and the newly-elected Rajasthan BJP president Bhanwar Lal Sharma, 76 - is a perfect illustration of the divisions within. There's a pattern to all of them. The younger, and perhaps more popular, leaders have been sidelined in the party by the entrenched old guard. And the party workers, who now have to muster support under relative lightweights, are a demoralised lot.

For the BJP brass, the dilemma is acute. The leadership is not unaware of the fact that these leaders are seen as over the hill, but their options are severely limited by the opposition from prominent state leaders to any...

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