Advani’s annoyance sends out mixed signals in BJP circles
Is senior BJP leader LK Advani genuinely anger and upset at the Lok Sabha being stalled day in and day out, or is the former deputy PM who has since been sidelined in the party by Narendra Modi sending a strong signal to the party MPs, “main hoon na”. Is he trying to become a rallying point for disgruntled BJPwallahs who are privately upset at the demonetisation move and how it would impact their political futures in their constituencies.
Advani’s outburst in the Lok Sabha after the house was adjourned has sent mixed signals in BJP circles. Calling the parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar to his seat, a visibly angry Advani said, “It looks as though neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running the house”. Ananth Kumar a one time protégé of Advani tried to placate the leader and keep him quiet by pointing to the press gallery, implying that the media can hear what he was saying.
Advani is obviously saying that not only the opposition but the Speaker and the government also do not want the house to run. This is obviously a huge hit at Narendra Modi, since the obvious implication is that all this is being done on the directions of the prime minister who does not want to speak on the demonetisation issue in the two Houses and even if he speaks he does not want to sit through the entire debate where opposition speakers are expected to take him to task, and even if he sits, he does not want to answer clarifications which are allowed in the Rajya Sabha.
Leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley made this clear when he told the members that the prime minister would only intervene and not take any questions or give any clarifications.He said that he, Jaitley would reply to the debate and answer the clarifications sought by the members.
What is significant is that BJP MPs are not coming forward to defend the government. In private they have voiced misgivings on the move saying that the reports from their constituencies do not augur well and there is a great deal of anger amongst the people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however has a different world view. He again informed the parliamentary party meeting that the people were with him and there was a great deal of support for the demonetisation move but the opposition and the media were trying to paint a different picture and create opposition to the move. He said the jan shakti was with him.
Obviously the Prime Minister sees himself as the new age Robin Hood, who has robbed the rich to line the pockets of the poor and blames the opposition for being unable to digest his popularity. On every forum that he speaks, except Parliament where he does not speak.