Swaraj alludes to Raje’s possible expulsion from the BJP

August 21st, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shimla, Aug.21 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, on Friday indirectly hinted that former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje could be removed from the party on grounds of indiscipline.

Without directly confirming plans to remove Raje, Swaraj alluded at a press conference held here that: “The BJP has removed the party’s state level leadership in those states where it performed poorly in the last (state and general) elections.”

In this context, she also gave the examples of B.C Khanduri who was replaced as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand by Ramesh Pokhriyal, Om Mathur who was replaced by Arun Chaturvedi as the BJP’s Rajasthan unit president and Krishnapal Gurjar coming in place of Atam Prakash Manchanda as president of the BJP’s Haryana unit.

Raje is expected in the national capital New Delhi today, and is likely to meet Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader L.K.Advani at his residence on Saturday.

It maybe recalled that last week when she was asked by the party to step down as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan State Assembly, Raje had in a show of strength sent more than 60 MLAs and MPs to the national capital to convince the BJP’s central leadership that she enjoyed the full support of the state unit, and therefore, there were no grounds for her removal as Leader of Opposition.

Swaraj also justified the expulsion of Jaswant Singh from the party, saying it was necessary to restore and maintain the party’s ideological stance.

She told reporters here on the last day of the three-day `Chintan Baithak’ of the BJP that Jaswant Singh, as a political leader with over three decades of experience, had deliberately sought to denigrate India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel and his achievements and had showered wholesome praise on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan in his latest book “Jinnah India Partition Independence”.

“It was very difficult, but necessary to expel Jaswant Singh. It was a very tough decision to remove a colleague of last thirty years,” she said.

Countering Jaswant Singh’s statement of Thursday evening that Patel was the country’s first Home Minister to ban the BJP’s parent organization - the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) shortly after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948, Swaraj said: “It was (Jawaharlal) Nehru’s intention to ban the RSS, and not Patel’s.”

Recalling a letter that Patel had written to Nehru, Swaraj said that Patel wrote: “I have been following the investigations, and there is no iota of evidence against the RSS.”

She also emphasized that coalition politics in India was here to stay to fight the “hegemony” of the Congress party.

Historically, she said that Shyama Prasad Moorkerjee, was the first person to initiate coalition politics in the country with the formation of the Jana Sangh in the 1950s. The aim then was to counter the Congress, and that tradition continues, she said.

She confirmed that three-day Chintan Baithak had thoroughly discussed the pro’s and con’s of coalition politics. (ANI)

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