Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manohar Parrikar takes on Dilli4

Goa’s BJP leader and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is not given to making off-the-cuff remarks. He is a grassroots level activist who has an impeccable (and enviable) record as a party member, leader and commitment to good governance. His integrity quotient is exceptionally high. His commitment to ideology is unimpeachable. He is a technocrat who understands the pulse of politics and popular aspirations. (I have commented on him in an earlier post.)

Parrikar told a local TV channel (and I am quoting PTI): “At present Advaniji's innings is matured. It is like Sachin Tendulkar. However matured innings he may play, sometime he will have to stop playing. It is like a pickle which takes a year to mature. But if it is kept for two years or so, it gets rancid.” He also said: "Advaniji's period is more or less over... Another couple of years and after that he should act as a guardian or mentor for the party. He should be available whenever we need him. His capability and experience should be available for BJP."

I presume Parrikar spoke in Konkan. And the reference must have been to a local idiom. But the gist of what he said is clear to all: Advani has had his innings; he should now retire; and, a fresh, young lot should take over the leadership of the BJP at the national level. He has stated the obvious, but he is the first to articulate it in so many words. By doing so, he has exhibited integrity and honesty. He has shown courage, which is now considered rare in a party increasingly consumed by sycophancy and factionalism.

Dilli4 will be most displeased with Parrikar. He has shown them up. Dilli4 worked the media all of Tuesday to give a twist to Parrikar’s statement and make him sound rancid. Dilli4 met with some success, which prompted Parrikar to issue a ‘clarification’ that is really a reiteration of what he said: "Advaniji is my icon. The media is distorting my comments. I only asked for a young person -- between 40 and 55 years of age -- to be the party president. I stand by my comments." To drive home his point, he added, "There is a lot of wrong projection about BJP which can be cleared with a new face."

Notice the emphasis on ‘young person’ and ‘new face’. He has been blunt and truthful. And absolutely right in his assessment. Dilli4 needed to be told where they get off.

But Dilli4 is not giving up without a fight -- not yet. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who is among those in the BJP who suffer from an acute manifestation of foot-in-mouth disease, was deployed for ‘damage control’. Rudy told media: "Manohar Parrikar has compared Advani to Sachin Tendulkar and said that just as Tendulkar is progressing by and by and his game is improving with experience.... He has used the same metaphor for Advani. If beyond this some other words have been used for analysis, then it is wrong."

Really? Since when has Rudy been appointed arbiter of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? By whom?

Meanwhile, two associated developments in the BJP which reflect the prevailing state of affairs in the party and therefore merit mention.

First, Bishan Singh Chufaal has been appointed president of Uttarakhand unit of the BJP. Bachi Singh Rawat has been sacked for the party’s electoral performance in the Lok Sabha poll. We are now told Chufaal will lead the BJP to greater glory. Let’s wait and watch. 2012 isn’t too far off.

Second, Jaswant Singh has questioned why LK Advani kept quiet for a month on his expulsion from the party before saying that he had disfavoured disciplinary action against the author of Jinnah’s controversial biography. "It is to be examined in what context or reference he (Advani) has said this and that too after a month,” Jaswant Singh told mediapersons in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Jaswant Singh also said his son Manvendra is no more in the BJP. Asked whether Manvendra, former BJP MP from Barmer, was in the party, Jaswant Singh said "No he is not.” He said no member of his family was with the BJP now. Rajasthan BJP president Arun Chaturvedi told PTI, “It has to be ascertained whether Manvendra renewed his party membership during the recent membership drive in Barmer.”

Manvendra has not said anything on the issue.


Anonymous said...

Liked the unambiguous emphasis by Manohar Parrikar on age, new phase and the need for shedding the baggage of the past.

Hope he stands by this in the days to come and articulates with clarity a vision on how a new face can make a difference to BJP.

Nothing like a contest to bring out a sharp debate on this.

Mr. Parrikar needs to get more savvy at playing the national media perhaps by using the new age media better.

Anonymous said...

make that "new face" but "new phase" wouldnt be out of place either :)

Anonymous said...

Jaswant more and more cofirms that the shoing of the door rto him was so deserving. This guy is so full of himself. Good riddance - party will survive without him; let us see how he does unless he sucks up to the likes of Amar Singh.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting Parrikar had the age bracket "40-55" for the party president. This puts Dilli4 out of contest.

murari said...

Small nitpick, "Konkani" [language] not "Konkan" [region]. Cheers!

Venkatesh said...


Why did advani not resign after the elections. It would have been the right thing to do and the most elegant exit.

Based on his track record, I somehow dont feel that Advani is a megalomaniac power grabber. Just my impression and I have zero personal interaction with him. Why are things the way they are? It may be in the Dilli 4's interest that he hangs around? But what is Advani's interest? I dont think he is sillly enough to think that he will lead the part in 2014? Any inside dope on that?

Anonymous said...

The media in this country is really a monster, they will do anything to bail out their masters the Congress. The dust over the incidents of August seem to be settling and here they want to rake up another storm to vilify the BJP.

Advani or the Dilli4 staying put at the helm is certainly not the Media's business.

I personally would love to see Manohar being given an important position.

Anonymous said...

The present power structure inside BJP has to be demolished.

The new structure should be built on by grass-root party workers, through fair and transparent democratic process and internal elections.

Honestly hoping BJP makes it through these dark times and comes out as a stronger and mature party.

sanjay said...

It's a matter of time, but when the leadership change finally takes place, it will be unprecedented in India's history. The new leadership will not have it easy, they will have to prove their mettle at a time when BJP's popularity is at it's lowest ebb, and to assume that they will succeed by default is just wishful thinking. I wish LKA and RNS could read the writing on the wall which is so clear and stop being a hurdle to that change.

indian_indian said...

Can someone tell me who the Dilli4 are? I am not able to name more than 2 of them.

Rajnath Singh?
Arun Jaitley?

Anonymous said...

Jaitley, Sushama, V Naidu, Ananth Kumar

Anonymous said...

Anyone reading Tulasi Ramayan or watching Ramlila in Navratri will note in today's episode a refusal by Bharat to become Kong of Ayodhya and instead his travel to Chitrakoot to get Ram back to Ayodhya! Then contrast that with the disgraceful conduct of the BJP leadership. Ram's party - LOL. More like Ravan's Party!

Anonymous said...

While Congress media's take on this episode is nasty, Rajiv Pratap Rudy's spin is hilarious. Presstitute Trust of India titled its story as "Advani rancid pickle: Parrikar". Rudy claimed that Parrikar said that Advani gets better with age like wine and Tendulkar :-). (Ok, I made that wine bit up). It would be nice if PTI can hire Rudy as a stringer, but I don't think the Congress would want to do the BJP any favor.

Anonymous said...


An excellent comment on some out of control judges on issues that are in the domain of legislatures /voters, not unelected judges, particularly when they do it selectively (let us see if our SC has real guts to call a quit to unending number of Gandhi-Nehru schemes / memorials.

Anonymous said...

BJP leadership should ignore Jaswant & his tantrums; absolute silence and media will move on to something more spicy, thus deny him life line, viz. media publicity! He will be history. Even Bharon Baba has openly scolded him! That should put paid to his dreams of grandeur.

Anonymous said...

Offstumped twittered:
offstumped Just exactly how much NDTV IBN TOI IE and HT are in bed with UPA is evidenced by absolute silence on WSJ interview for 48hrs

In Britain, a Defence Advisory Notice or DA-Notice (called a Defence Notice or D-Notice until 1993) is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security.

Do you mean we have something similar in India also?

Patel said...

Just because Madam passed a gag order on Shashi Tharoor, why is the media following it? Remember before the elections, media cribbed about an imaginary gag order on Arun Jaitley? Rajdeep Sardesai has the gall to twitter that they should leave Shashi Tharoor to do his job. WTF? Rajdeep too is following Madam's gag order? How come no one is interested in interviewing Tharoor for his opinions on cattlegate? Why no hue and cry about the gag order on the media's 2nd favourite congressmen?

Anonymous said...

Patel Sir / Madam: Media is silent because our media barons are either cowards and/or have been purchased. Nothing surprising to this long-time observer if our English papers. ToI, HT have been like that for 30+ yrs. What saddens one is the degradation of IE to verily a Congress Express!

Anonymous said...

Ashok Kumar, what's this WSJ interview you mentioned?

That bit about IBN etc being in bed with the government is completely superfluous. Everybody knows they weren't merely in bed but that they also got in the family way many times. Look at the number of media Padmasris! ;-)

Samudra said...

Manohar Parrikar has said exactly what the BJP needs: new face and a young face with credibility.

Also, Advani is just hanging around for no good reason. I mean 82 is a bit old and he has lost the election.

Also, the sooner they get rid of Rudy the better it is for the party.

Btw, who are the Dilli4?

Anonymous said...

Dilli 4: Sushama, Jaitley, Ananth, Venkata?

Anonymous said...

Advani asks for permission to build temple

Seems like this man is not going to go away on his own - he should be shown the door without any grace or respect. Down with his head~

Anonymous said...

A column in a Hindi daily on Sunday (caveat: it is sort of weekly gossip column by a known BJP-baiter)claimed that LKA has told Sangh leadership the party badly needs his wisdom and experience at this critical moment. If this is even partially true, God Save BJP~

Unknown said...

Why every politician has to say"misquoted by Media" Parikkar included?