New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley indirectly hit out at party leader Sushma Swaraj for opposing the re-induction of BSR Congress leader B Sriramulu into the party. Jaitley said that the leaders must not divert attention from larger issues. He has reportedly raised the issue at the party's Central Election Committee meeting.
Sushma had on Friday voiced her opposition to B Sriramulu's re-induction on Twitter. She had tweeted, "I want to make it absolutely clear that B Sriramulu has been admitted in the party despite my stiff opposition."
Sriramulu was formally re-inducted in the party on Friday and is likely to contest from Bellary seat in Karnataka.
Sriramulu has been a close friend of infamous Reddy brothers of Bellary who have been charge sheeted in the mega mining scam. The head of the Reddy brothers' family and former Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy has been in jail for over two and a half years.
Sriramulu quit the BJP in 2012 to form his own BSR Congress Party. The BSR Congress won just 4 seats in the assembly elections held in 2013 May. After that he was trying to merge his party with the Congress. But, the Congress refused to take the Reddy brothers party and he started lobbying with the BJP.
Here is the full text of Arun Jaitley's blog:
Psephology as a science has still not been perfected in India. I cannot therefore vouch for absolute accuracy of these polls. The big picture emerging out of most of these polls which have been conducted by several prestigious organizations is that the BJP led NDA is a clear front runner. The gap between BJP and the Congress is significant. Narendra Modi's acceptability as a Prime Minister is very large. His acceptability ratings are higher than those of the party.
The political debate on the polls is now centered around two basic issues. Firstly, if the NDA is the front runner by a large margin how will it cover the last mile to reach the 272+ magic figure. Secondly, given the tally of the UPA, the Third Front and the Federal Front, no body other than the NDA has a ghost chance of forming the next government.
What should we in the BJP therefore concentrate on? The Congress is failing to either appeal to the voter or occupy the mind space. Some regional parties particularly the AIADMK, the Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal, as per these opinion polls, appear to be holding ground in their States. The Left Front, which used to be the key ideological motivation, in getting disparate anti-BJP elements together, is shrinking. It does not appear that they will expand. There is a significant political space which anti-Congress regional parties are still occupying.
My personal analysis is that we are slowly but surely moving towards the magic figure. The last lap of the campaign has begun. The BJP needs to concentrate on consolidating its gains. The country's mood is to install a BJP led government. Between now and the polling date all BJP leaders and cadres must work towards the goal of adding an additional two percent votes across the country. Every incremental percentage vote is capable of adding a significant number of seats to our kitty.
How do we add this incremental vote to our tally? Rallies, publicity, communications through all mediums will be effectively done. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball. We must continue the political debate on the anti-incumbency issues against the UPA and the ability of the BJP and Narendra Modi to provide a solution to the problems of the country. Anti-incumbency and a desire for change existing on account of price rise, slow down in economy, plight of the farmers, corruption, security related issues and a leadership vacuum in the UPA, voters' mind space are key issues. We must all entirely concentrate on these issues and the ability of a Modi led government providing a solution to these concerns. Relatively marginal issues such as declaration of candidates particularly who is in and who is out cannot be allowed to dominate the political agenda in the BJP. These issues divert the attention from the core issues of governance.
Beside Modi's leadership and anti-incumbency against the UPA the big issue which is likely to dominate the voters' mind is -"Who can provide a stable government." The more we emphasize the importance of this issue the larger will be the advantage to the front runner. The least that India can afford today is a fractured mandate. The voters must be persuaded that they should not waste their votes. Voting for smaller groups will not help government formation. India needs a government which rules for five years. If we are to get the country out of the present mess, a stable government which cannot be pushed around is a condition precedent.
I want to make it absolutely clear that B.Sriramulu has been admitted in the party despite my stiff opposition.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwarajbjp) March 14, 2014