22 September, 2020

Huntsmen’s Chorus

The strife in the BJP is actually a Modi-Rajnath power grab

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Huntsmen’s Chorus
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The year was 1996. The BJP had emerged as the biggest party after a heated general election. Cause for celebration, although its government lasted just 13 days. But, at a function in Gujarat to felicitate Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K Advani, microphones, chairs, other objects flew as leaders and workers of the party’s fractious Guj­arat unit came to blows. The venerable state minister Atmaram Patel was beaten, his dhoti was stripped and shredded, and pieces were carried away by party workers as trophies. A cowering Patel covered his modesty with a party banner.

At odds with CM Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi, who was ‘exiled’ from Gujarat by the BJP, was holding forth at the party’s Delhi headquarters. He could barely contain his glee when the discussion turned to the free-for-all event. “You may be shocked,” Modi volunteered, “but in Gujarat it is a ‘parampara’ (tradition) that when old people mis­behave, they are stripped of their dhotis.” Fast forward to 2014, and understand that some old BJP men are...

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