28 October, 2020

Saffron Soot

Internal feuds and a grave presidential dilemma ahead Updates

Vivek Pateria
Saffron Soot
A political party that banishes Uma Bharati into the wilderness and then contemplates elevating Venkaiah Naidu to the post of president can be accused by its critics of seeing the world upside down. The sanyasin, expelled last week from the primary membership of the BJP, is making the most of her vanvas. She is following the Hindu path of penance for a political rebirth—walking the dirt-roads of Madhya Pradesh in a long march to Ayodhya. One night she sleeps in a dharamshala, the next in a local temple or a tent in a forested area near a village. "I was chosen by the people, so I've gone back to them," she says.

Meanwhile, the 'Venkaiah Naidu for president' tale is perhaps more revealing about the state of the BJP. Venkaiah has gone on record saying it's premature to describe him as a frontrunner for the post of president. "I'm not aspiring for anything and nothing has been decided," he said. Yet Venkaiah can perhaps draw some encouragement from the fact that Pramod Mahajan, who never had much time for him when he was actually BJP president, told a TV journalist: "I have...


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