15 June, 2021

The Lion Won't Eat Grass

Vaghela and his band of rebels may not take the BJP high command's snubs lying down

The Lion Won't Eat Grass

THE BJP's Gujarat unit seems destined for more trouble. The high command's decision to quell the rebellion with an iron fist may backfire. Even more riled by what they feel is "one-sided" action, the dissidents have been chalking out battle strategies over a series of hushed meetings—and a split in the party is again becoming a none-too-remote possibility.

Attention is focussed on the next moves of dissident leader Shankersinh Vaghela, who received a strong snub this fortnight when the BJP leadership responded to the prolonged crisis in the state with stern disciplinary action directed primarily against his faction. This has prompted Vaghela to test his support-base, within the party and outside it. The man had declared barely a month ago that he would not quit the party and would, rather, work to strengthen it. Now, the wind is changing direction again. Says a senior associate, about the dissident leader: "The lion may go hungry, but he won't eat grass".

The die was cast by the central leadership, which was waiting for the general...

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