I nurtured the glimmer of hope that the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting yesterday (Saturday, May 23) would prompt some response from the leadership on the poll debacle.
Predictably, it came to nought. Both Advani and the party President are conveying the unmistakable signal that they are accountable to no one but themselves.
It is only a matter of time before disquiet turns to abuse. (My piece in Sunday Pioneer)
I understand that others are not so squeamish. They have waited long enough and will now start speaking. In guarded tones to begin with.
The RSS is speaking in different voices. One lot is peddling the crazy line that we need more Hindutva of the Varun Gandhi variety. They are all over TV peddling this ideological monstrosity.
[Just see the results of Hardwar where the VHP made the fielding of its own candidate a prestige issue. The BJP candidate, the state education minister, was changed in mid-stream. Also see the outcome in one of the East Delhi seats where a VHP activist was dragged out of hibernation and fielded. See the results of Kandhamal, the scene of the still-born Hindu revolution.]
Another lot just wants to increase their control over the party. They want to make sure the party president is rewarded for keeping his appointing authority in good humour. They also want to "fix" Modi for his insolence.
While all these shenanigans are taking place, there is one question that few are willing to address: the moral decline of the BJP. In ethical terms, the past three years has seen the BJP sink to the level of the SP and BSP.
In the past, corruption and money power was a marginal problem. Today, it is reaching the very top. Is the failure to extract favours a reason why some people are demanding the Uttarakhand CM's head? Wasn't this precisely why some people also turned against Modi?
The issue briefly came to the fore in the wake of Arun Jaitley's protest against the appointment of an individual to an election body. Jaitley was then advised by everyone to hold his fire till May 13. After the verdict shouldn't some of these ethical issues be addressed seriously? Or should everyone wait for the gangrene to set in?
That the BJP needs an ethical purge is certain. But why such a purge worry those whose records are clean?
What is striking is the extent to which those who claim to speak on behalf of the RSS have been compromised. According to media reports, the Sangathan mantri of the Rajasthan BJP has been reverted to the "parent cadre". Will other heads also roll?
It's time they did.