Like Gadkari, like Jha
Posted August 9, 2010on:
Before Prabhat Jha was elected president of the Madhya Pradesh BJP, Nitin Gadkari was said to have called upon RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and told him that there was no consensus among party leaders in favour of Jha. Bhagwat, thus went the story at the time, flashed an indulgent smile at Gadkari and asked him if there was a consensus among party leaders in his (Gadkari’s) own favour.
The similitude between the national and Madhya Pradesh unit presidents of the BJP does not end there. Both are suffering from what the late K.R.Malkani used to call the diarrhoea of the mouth. Gadkari has shown in the past few months that he cares little for the sensibilities of the civilised society when he opens his mouth. Jha is closely following the example set by the party’s national president.
Overstepping the authority of the chief minister and the Bhopal gas disaster relief and rehabilitation minister, Jha announced that if the Central government failed to disburse adequate compensation to the gas victims, the State government would disburse it from its own coffers. In Indore, he led a rally of party workers through a route which was prohibited for holding public meetings and rallies by the High Court. When told about it, Jha remarked that the people (read BJP workers) were above the High Court. After a Congress activist threatened to move a contempt of court petition against Jha, the State BJP president tried to backtrack by saying that he has the highest regard for the High Court but could not contain the enthusiasm of the party workers.
Addressing a convention of the party’s Mayors and Municipal Corporation members at another time, Jha said that the jawans of the BSF and CRPF were dacoits and smugglers. He tried to qualify his observation in the wake of the State-wide criticism the next day that he meant only some of them who had recently been apprehended for supplying arms to the naxalites. (He conveniently forgot that some of the jawans apprehended for arms smuggling were recruited during the NDA regime when Lal Krishna Advani was the home minister at the Centre).