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Home > News > Specials

The Rediff Special/rediff News Features Desk

Fight club: BJP vs BJP, but who wins?

September 13, 2005

In the red corner: Madan Lal Khuarana, a leader of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, former Delhi chief minister and ex-Rajasthan governor.

In the blue corner: Lal Kishenchand Advani, BJP president.

The (e)X factor: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former BJP chief and former prime minister.

The fight: On August 18, Khurana grabbed headlines when he wrote to Advani, declaring that the BJP was being run like a private limited company. He could not work under Advani, the former Delhi chief minister said. And in a pang of conscience now typical of dissident BJP leaders, he advised Advani to remove Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi – also a BJP leader -- over the 2002 communal riots in that state.

Two days later, Khurana was suspended from the BJP. On August 22, he was served a show cause notice. On August 29, he wrote to the party, saying he needed more time to answer the notice. The case was referred to a party disciplinary committee headed by former petroleum minister Ram Naik. On September 6, the disciplinary committee recommended Khurana be expelled for six years. And he was.

That was the cue for Vajpayee, who declared in a letter on September 8 that Khurana's expulsion was 'unfortunate'. Khurana became even more aggressive, calling Advani a dictator. Interestingly, Khurana had met the former prime minister a day before.

What followed were hectic intra-BJP parlays. Former ministers and veteran BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi voiced support for Khurana's re-induction into the party. Jaswant Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu, Advani men both, met Vajpayee. Advani and Vajpayee spoke to each other, finally.

In the meanwhile, Khurana got his formal expulsion letter.

Enter Vajpayee again. He told Khurana to apologise to Advani, and the BJP's 'Lion of Delhi' sent an 'unconditional apology' to his party chief.

And voila, Khurana was back in the BJP.

And the winner is: Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Yes, it's he who has got the maximum mileage from the Khurana versus Advani spat. Lately relegated to pretty much the political sidelines, he has bounced back as a leader with clout in an increasingly factional BJP.

Note who declared that Khurana was taken back into the party: Pramod Mahajan.

Note who Khurana's apology letter was sent through: Mahajan again.

And everyone knows the former Advani man is now Vajpayee's man.

What it also means is that Advani becomes even more embattled.

And that India's largest Opposition party is busier fighting itself than the government.

Also read:

The Pakistan visit that Advani still can't shake off
Fight club: Minister vs PSU honcho

The Rediff Specials

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: About BJP

The stories going on in BJP in last couple of moths really hurts so many its supporting persons like me. but I understud RSS has ...

Posted by Raghotham reddy

Sub: What a Pity...

one can only say, at the present state of affairs of BJP, What a fall my Countrymen! its really pitiable & pathetic to say the ...

Posted by Rajeev Venkat

Sub: These are healthy squabbles

Can you imagine any healthy disagreements in the sycophancy laden Congress? BJP should champion and hold regular party elections at the local district levels (as ...

Posted by Suresh N

Sub: Fight club: BJP vs BJP, but who wins?

BJP is now Badonki Jhanjhatiya Party(Elders Quarrel Party)but contrary to your calculation nobody is winning rather all are loosing. RSS loosing more it is meddling ...

Posted by Dr. Dhanakar Thakur

Sub: BJP -- Need for fresh blood

The entire episode is nothing but a mere entertainment for the common man, its such a horrid situation in BJP that one seems to fail ...

Posted by D M Kannur



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