The BJP is passing through another crisis. It seems like a pattern now. The party alternates between good and bad news. Within days of the NDA's stunning victory in Bihar, the party is saddled with the MP Chief Minister issue, and I for one stand by Bharti on this. She is the one who got them the state (with a 3/4th majority at that), and it is sad that her voice is being muzzled. Why is the "party with a difference" killing democracy within? Why was her demand for a secret ballot rejected? I think the villain of the piece is Arun Jaitley. His animosity for the sanyasin is well-known. He is trying to carve a niche for himself within the party because there is one thing he sorely lacks: Sangh support. With Advani vacating the party presidency in December, the race for the top spot is hotting up. Jaitley plans to bank upon the Bihar victory to inch closer to the finishing line.
Uma has mass public support in the state, she is a fiery orator and also shares a good rapport with the RSS. She was also instrumental in Bihar. She might just land the presidency. If that were the case, however, the Sangh would have communicated to her not to raise the CM issue just now. Since that has not happened, it indicates that she might get trumped for the post by seasoned Machiavellis Jaitley and Mahajan. Ironical, considering it is Bharti who shares her birthday with the Italian genius (May 3). Only Govindacharya (another fine leader given a raw deal by the party) has come out in her support. What is surprising is that the holy trinity: Advani, Vajpayee and Sudershan are witnessing this drama without action or comment. Advani's silence may be attributed to his own weakened position in the party post-Jinnah, but what about the Sarsanghchalak?
Perhaps Bharti and Govindacharya should float their own outfit. MP will welcome this alliance hands down. It may also receive the blessings of that other disenchanted leader: Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi.