In a veiled hint that the old horses of the party are not happy with many of the Congress rebels being given important ministerial postings in the BJP government, the state BJP president, Ajay Bhatt said that the party should not be reduced to an open platform for all to jump on, given the legacy of sacrifice and commitment it is founded on. “Now, with the party back in power, many are contacting me daily while expressing their desire to join BJP. I am asking them whether they know anything about the legacies left by its founding leaders like Syama Prasad Mookherjee and Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay. The party being committed to the service of the nation, the trend of the people, sans any knowledge of the history of the party, desiring to join should be discouraged,” he said while addressing the felicitation programme of the chief minister and other ministers at the state party headquarters on Saturday.
While introducing the Narendranagar MLA and the cabinet minister Subodh Uniyal, one of the Congress rebels who later switched to the saffron camp, Bhatt said that earlier he was a minister under a minister. “Now, he is the cabinet minister,” he said.
In another cryptic comment on Yashpal Arya who was a cabinet minister of the Harish Rawat government before he quit and joined BJP, Bhatt said that now Arya would not need any help to reach Vidhan Sabha with his son and Nainital MLA Sanjeev Arya remaining with him.
He further said that BJP as a party is meant as an instrument for the service of the nation. “The workers are well aware of the mission the party exists for. We are not meant to be here for self-aggrandizement,” he said.
Invoking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said though he is in Delhi, everybody here is under his scanner. “Please refrain from doing anything that goes against the basic principle of the party,” he warned.
Observers say that through suggestive innuendos, the state BJP president has made it clear that all is not well within the saffron camp with many party veterans having been kept at bay with many outside the core saffron camp being inducted in the ministry.
Invoking the rebellion within the Congress folds that rocked the Congress-helmed government on March 18, 2016, he said that the people had shooed the regime out just after a year. “The new BJP ministry was sworn in on March 18, 2017, significantly,” he said.
The party activists who thronged the party office to take part in the felicitation programme meant for the chief minister and other ministers said that the oblique sarcastic references to the ministers who came from Congress was a pointer to resentment seemingly set deep into the saffron camp. “The state party president addressing the gathering while wearing dark glasses to cover his eyes is interesting too,” said one of the activists.