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India opposition leader attacks party top brass

A senior leader of India’s main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Arun Shourie, has called for a overhaul of the party leadership, deepening the crisis in the organisation, news reports said on Tuesday.

Shourie, an eminent journalist and federal disinvestment minister in the BJP cabinet, said his party was a ”kite without a string” and hit out at BJP president Rajnath Singh, calling him ”Alice in Blunderland”.

Shourie made the comments in an interview with the NDTV news channel, days after BJP sacked its top leader Jaswant Singh for writing a controversial book on Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

”The BJP today is like a kite without a string. Unless it’s got hold of swiftly … I do not see people within the party who now have such authority,” Shourie told NDTV.

He said that the right-wing Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological parent, should take control of the party.

”The RSS should take BJP’s control in its hands and all top leaders should be removed,” Shourie suggested.

Without naming any leader, he said there were people in the party who have ”brought about this situation. They are the ones who are hurting the party.”

Describing Shourie’s remarks as ”unfortunate”, BJP functionaries hinted at his expulsion.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the remarks were ”completely unacceptable” and said the party would take cognisance of Shourie’s comments.

The BJP has been in a disarray due to in-fighting and a leadership crisis after its loss in the national elections in May.

Senior BJP leader, Yashwant Sinha, quit all party positions after the elections saying the party was reluctant to examine openly the reasons for its electoral loss.

BJP strategist, Sudheendra Kulkarni also submitted his resignation recently, citing ”ideological differences” with the party. — Sapa-dpa

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