If Congress has been hugely criticised for not giving due recognition to few towering leaders of the Indian freedom struggle like Subhash Chandra Bose, then BJP too should face the flak for sidelining leaders like Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla in Chhatisgarh.
Vajpayee remained the tallest leaders within the party and in Indian politics, but his kin could never gain recognition from the party. Ignored by BJP, Shukla will now be contesting from the Rajnandgaon Assembly seat in the ensuing Chhatisgarh state assembly elections on Congress ticket.
Her active role in the state politics was not hidden from anyone. The BJP completely neglected her, in spite of her being Atalji’s kin and actively associated with BJP for three decades. Ending her association with the BJP, she accused party’s top leadership of neglecting her leading to mental stress. Does it not show double standard on the part of the BJP? On the one hand, they criticize Congress for not recognising efforts of their regional leaders. While on the other hand, they follow the same practice.
The BJP leaders stand exposed for its double-talk. Ahead of the assembly elections in five states, the party leaders have been launching targetted attacks on opposition parties. The ruling party has openly criticised the Congress for practising Nehru-Gandhi populism and biases towards party leaders. Now, when the party itself faces similar charges from someone who has served the party for decades, BJP’s attack on Congress for political benefits seems unjustified.
Moreover, Congress has been actively asserting itself on all the poll-bound states. The conflict within the party, such as in Shukla’s case, is not a good sign for the party.
It remains to be seen how will the ruling party manage to swing the public opinion in its favour.