24 January, 2021

When The Flock Loses Its Way

A moralist in the age of pragmatic politics, former Himachal CM Shanta Kumar shows the way yet again, going into self-quarantine and chiding the present incumbent.

When The Flock Loses Its Way

Who says a margdarshak (guide)—a term coined by the BJP to allegedly sideline party elders like L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi—does not wield influence in the party or the government? Shanta Kumar, a two-time chief minister and BJP veteran, proves speculation to the contrary wrong.

Kumar is known for speaking his mind—bluntly. In response to the 2002 Gujarat riots, Kumar, then a Union minister, said that if he were the CM of the state, he would have resigned (Narendra Modi was the Gujarat CM then). Whether it was the multi-crore Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, allegations of corruption against the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh in 2002-2003 or the Bangaru Laxman tape scandal, he did not hesitate to raise his voice. As the Karnataka party in-charge, he took a stand against CM B.S. Yediyurappa due to allegations of corruption and nepotism against him in 2010.

After the BJP’s attempts to unseat governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Kumar has been lecturing the party on ‘moral’ politics. “The BJP has deviated from...



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