On a day when the BJP's own magazine laid bare the growing chasm between
its top leaders, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited party
veterans LK Advani and Atal Behari Vajpayee at their homes in Delhi.
Advani had used his blog for unsubtle criticism of BJP president Nitin
Gadkari. He had written in his blog that it was time to introspect. "The UPA is sliding but people are disappointed with the BJP. The party's handling of Karnataka and Jharkhand has undermined its anti-graft stand," wrote Mr Advani. A day later, the BJP's mouthpiece echoes a few of the points
that Mr Advani made. And in a section that's being interpreted as
intended for Narendra Modi, the magazine suggests: "People who attain
heights should raise the level of their thoughts...it's been seen,
people who attain heights glare down at people below them."
BJP downplayed the editorial. "Don't make a story out of nothing," said
party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. He stressed that the editorial
does not take any names.
The editorial in the BJP magazine, the Kamal Sandesh
, also refers to the problem of in-fighting the party is struggling with in Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Gujarat, this week, Mr Modi's old-time rival, Keshubhai Patel, led a
meeting of those who believe that Mr Modi functions like an autocrat.
Last week, Mr Modi refused to attend the BJP's national executive
meeting in Mumbai because another rival, Sunil Joshi, was present. It
was only after Mr Joshi resigned as a member of the executive that the
Gujarat chief minister agreed to participate in the session.
BJP magazine offers its analysis without naming Mr Modi. "Parties can't
run on the principle that only 'my word will prevail'," it says. Though
the general consensus was that Mr Modi stole the show at the Mumbai
meeting once he eventually got there, the magazine warns, "If we praise
someone beyond what is necessary - we open doors to their fall."
are comments that could apply to BS Yeddyurappa, who has been
threatening to split the BJP in Karnataka unless he is reinstated as
chief minister, despite a slew of corruption charges. The editorial
warns of the danger of "an individual in a hurry" and states, "The party
makes the individual, never the other way round. So the individual must
acknowledge his debt to the party."
The article praises Atal
Behari Vajpayee, Mr Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as "the tallest
leaders who have always operated under party guidelines."
Some leaders are attempting to do some damage control. "Advaniji is the senior-most leader of the BJP and I accept whatever he says with all regards to him," said BJP leader Rajnath Singh.
Advani on his blog, on Thursday, did not mention Mr Gadkari but said the
handling of the crises in states like Karnataka had dented the BJP's
campaign against graft. The comments were an indictment of Mr Gadkari's
leadership. Mr Advani also suggested that the morale in the party was
low and that the BJP was proving to be a disappointment to the public by
failing to rise to the occasion and offer a viable alternative to the
Congress-led UPA, which has been lurching from one corruption scandal to
another. Mr Advani's opposition to the BJP amending its rules to grant
Mr Gadkari a second consecutive term as party president is well known.