As parliamentary affairs minister, Pramod Mahajan has the difficult task of balancing the NDA's secular allies with the BJP's hardliners. Among the younger leaders, his is one face that is taken seriously by both the party and the PM. Mahajan spoke to Priya Sahgal about the mood in the BJP post-Goa and the party's equations with NDA allies. Excerpts:
Is there a feel-good factor in the BJP post-Goa?
The Goa executive was held at a crucial juncture with the electoral losses in the assembly elections and the Gujarat incidents as the backdrop. The party was under pressure and I think the PM's speech at the public rally, Advaniji's speech at the executive and the executive's unanimous rejection of Narendra Modi's resignation offer have rejuvenated the party and put it in a fighting mood.
Is that why the BJP is now adopting a tough stance towards the secular allies and appeasing the hardliners? Like appointing a Shiv Sena speaker?
The speaker's post was first offered to the TDP. As for Manohar Joshi, it was not the party to which he belonged but...