Lalit Modi has exposed the rot within BJP

Rana Ayyub
Rana AyyubJul 02, 2015 | 20:10

Lalit Modi has exposed the rot within BJP

Never have the fault lines in the BJP been more apparent as they are ever since the controversy linking former IPL chief Lalit Modi to senior party leaders came to light three weeks ago. It is also an open secret that political journalists have been besieged with calls from senior BJP leaders, each playing one against the other.

It is not very clear if the leaked information on Swaraj offering help to Lalit Modi was an insider job to stifle her ever increasing rebellion within the party. Those close to finance minister Arun Jaitley, her bête noire in the party, apparently have been quick to call journalists to claim innocence.


Last week I was in Delhi when friends with the Jaitley camp dropped hints that despite his less than cordial relations with Swaraj, he had no role to play in this controversy.

So who is behind it?

A section of BJP leaders and senior journalists are speculating if Subramanian Swamy, Arun Shourie, Ram Jethmalani troika has a hand to play in it, as a way to destabilise the Modi sarkar. Amidst these rumours, I also received a phone call from a leader that all is not so well between Jaitley and Modi, ever since #LalitForSushma broke.

So what is the actual story? Is there any truth to the rumours that journalists are being fed each morning from private numbers? Whatever may be the truth behind the leaks, there is no denying that it has exposed that's some division, disenchantment and disillusionment with the Modi-Shah-Jaitley troika.

The first voice of dissent came from Kirti Azad, Bihar BJP MP, who openly challenged Jaitley and sought clarification over his involvement in the FEMA violations during IPL Season 2, along with Sharad Pawar and other BCCI members. Azad did not stop at this, he further tweeted that the leak of British Labour politician Keith Vaz's mails was an insider job pointing yet again to Jaitley.


A shot in the arm came from his fellow Bihar MP, Shatrughan Sinha, who suggested that although he was not aware of the background, he knew Azad always stood up for the truth. Within days of this development, as Lalit Modi provided incriminating papers on Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia, party patriarch LK Advani indicated that a situation like Emergency could be repeated again, which was seen as a veiled attack against 7 RCR.

In about four months from now, the BJP is all set to fight a prestige election battle in Bihar. The mandate will decide the future of Amit Shah against who many daggers are drawn against. Should the BJP lose Bihar, then BJP MP’s from the state along with other leaders in the party, and in the RSS, it is suggested, will bay for his blood. Let's not forget that it will also coincide with RSS taking a call on whether Amit Shah should be given a full three year term as party president.

Many within BJP do not rule out the possibility that by weakening Sushma Swaraj's position in the party, the power troika would have saved itself from the strongest voice of opposition against Amit Shah’s candidature.


It must also be remembered that a similar exercise was practised when papers on Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj were released by a section within the party soon after Modi assumed power in Delhi.

Vasundhara Raje Scindia, who is now in the line of fire and has redirected all outrage aimed at Sushma, is a victim of collateral damage between the two camps. Raje, known to be one of the sharpest minds, rang up Nitin Gadkari - the blue-eyed-boy of RSS - to stand in solidarity with her. Gadkari who himself had to resign as party president over corruption charges (the papers allegedly provided by an insider) used the occasion allegedly to play his own political card. Sources close to Gadkari insist that someone within the BJP has leaked these papers and made Raje the fall guy.

Another favourite of the Advani camp who is now facing the heat as a part of this collateral damage is Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan; the Vyapam scam has interestingly resurfaced to hog the headlines. Much like Maharashtra Pankaja Munde who is facing the heat over the Chikki scam.

If the alleged corruption trail had ended at Raje's doorstep one could have smelt an opposition's ploy at play. I can't help but be reminded of what a senior BJP leader once told me: “In the BJP, the enemy's enemy is never a friend".

With RSS now in damage control, PM Narendra Modi must finally wake up to the fact that Delhi is not Gujarat where vindictive politics will not see a backlash. For Delhi is the land of shrewd politicians who have burnt their fingers in similar games and emerged out wiser and thick-skinned.

Last updated: July 02, 2015 | 21:21
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