A serious fighting has broken out among senior BJP leaders for
projection as Prime Minister candidate ahead of 2014 polls. In fact, it has
begun quite early this time!
Stunning her party leaders, Sushma Swaraj has hit out at Arun
Jaitley, Venkiah Naidu, Anant Kumar and Karnataka chief minister B S
Yeddyurappa for the rise of the Bellary brothers.
She has said in an interview to Outlook magazine that “I
have had no hand in giving encouragement to the Bellary brothers. I have not
helped them politically, or to increase their clout.”
She is heard speaking in Hindi in a tape released by Outlook
magazine to TV channels.
She claimed there were too many allegations linking her with the
Reddy brothers when she has had absolutely nothing to do with the two Karnataka
Interestingly, her attack on BJP leaders has come after her
complete silence on almost all issues raised by her party against the UPA
government for the last two months.
The buzz in BJP circles has been whether Swaraj had come under
pressure from the government and the Congress to go silent in her criticism
because they held “something” against her.
Earlier, she had gone out to stop the BJP from attacking Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of appointment of chief election
commissioner P J Thomas after his appointment was quashed.
She had also opposed the BJP from raising the issue of the rise of
Robert Vadra as a realty player. Questions have been asked by some BJP leaders
whether she had “compromised” with the Congress and the government
because of her proximity with the Reddy brothers.
But Jaitley had taken a different line, and attacked the PM on
many issues, which was followed suit by other BJP leaders.
In the interview, Swaraj said it was the Congress government in
Karnataka that made the brothers rich, while the BJP did play a role in making
them politically important as well. But she had no links whatsoever and other
BJP leaders were behind the Bellary brothers.
“When they were made ministers, it was Yeddyurappa who was the
chief minister and Arun Jaitley was the convener. All that I did was that when
it looked like the government was about to fall, I was told to speak to them,
to save our first government in the South,” she said.
Asked about Reddy brothers being frequently blamed for Karnataka’s
corruption, Swaraj said, “I haven’t contributed even 0% to their political
making… I haven’t made even a naya-paisa of it.”
It is open secret that Swaraj is in a race with Jaitley for
projection as BJP Prime Minister candidate. But the party leaders and RSS had
decided a few months ago against projecting anyone in this regard because of
the disastrous experience of 2004 and 2009.
Despite L K Advani’s projection as PM candidate in 2009, other BJP
leaders had fought among one another, jeopardizing the party’s chances in the
For past few days, Swaraj had been sulking at the role given to
her in the state elections. She was assigned Tamil Nadu and Kerala where the
BJP drew nil.
Swaraj’s bid to blame Jaitley for the BJP’s trouble in Karnataka
has no takers because everyone knows that she was the one who was championing their