BJP RIFT DEEPENS , Yashwant Quits Party Posts
13 June 2009,PTI, Times of India:NEW DELHI: Trouble in BJP deepened on Saturday with Yashwant Sinha quitting as vice-president even as party President Rajnath Singh threatened action against leaders violating party discipline and airing their views in public. Sinha, who was the BJP vice-president, also quit from the party’s national executive.
Sinha is believed to have conveyed his decision to party president Rajnath Singh in a letter, in which he is reported to have raised questions about the post poll decisions taken by the party leadership, PTI reported.
Sources said that Yashwant Sinha questioned certain campaign managers in the letter, in an apparent reference to Arun Jaitley, who was incharge of the elections.
Sinha had strained relations with Advani and also with party president Rajnath Singh.
Significantly, minutes before Singh addressed a press conference virtually imposing a gag order on leaders talking to media on party matters, formally or informally, news filtered out that Sinha has resigned.
Sinha, elected from Hazaribagh in the recent elections and is understood to have been upset over recent appointments by L K Advani in the Parliamentary party, sent his resignation to Rajnath Singh. Singh said he has not received the letter and he came to know about it only through the media.
At the press conference that comes amidst bitter infighting in the party, Singh acknowledged media reports that spoke of disarray in the leadership but refuted them saying they were united in analysing the reasons for the defeat.
"The media reports are far from truth. The leadership stands united and the party is united in analysing the outcome of the elections that have not come up to its expectations," he said. BJP will hold brainstorming session on election performance in August after the Budget session, says Rajnath.
"This obviously has to be an exhaustive and collective exercise which has begun at various levels. This will culminate in a 'Chintan Baithak' (brainstorming session) in the month of August after the Budget session," Singh said. Rajnath Singh said "As president of the party, I have to say that it has been decided that henceforth all party leaders and functionaries should refrain from formally or informally sharing their views and inputs outside the party forums such as the media or any other platform about the internal deliberations within the party or share any information that might negatively impact the image of the party, failing which they will invite disciplinary proceedings against themselves.
"We will not compromise on indiscipline." He, however, indicated that no action would be taken against those who have already aired their views in public on the causes of defeat. "I said henceforth ... you can draw your own conclusions," Rajnath Singh said when persistently asked whether any action will be taken against Jaswant Singh and Sudheendra Kulkarni, who have gone public with their views.
When pointed out that BJP's earlier efforts to enforce discipline like expulsion of Uma Bharti had come a cropper, the party chief said: "wait and watch." Rajnath Singh said the analysis of election results is aimed at making the party strong and expressed confidence that the efforts would succeed.