With her remarks on Arun Jaitley regarding Bellary brothers threatening to snowball into a major row, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday stepped in to virtually snub Sushma Swaraj saying any debate on the choice of ministers in Karnataka in the media is “totally unnecessary”.
“Any debate about the choice of ministers in the Karnataka government at this stage in the media is totally unnecessary,” Gadkari said.
With barely a week left for its national executive, Gadkari attempted to paper over the widening cracks in the BJP. Gadkari came out with a statement after former party president Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa claimed responsibility for inducting the controversial Bellary brothers, mining magnates, into the state cabinet, from which Swaraj had distanced herself.
Swaraj, widely perceived to be close to the Bellary brothers, had in an interview on Friday said it was Jaitley, Yeddyurappa, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar who had decided to induct Janardhan and Karunakar Reddy into the cabinet.
“I have no hand in the political making of Bellary brothers. I had nothing to do in making them ministers or building up their stature as political leaders. When the Bellary brothers were made ministers, Jaitley ji was in charge and Yeddyurappa the CM.” Sushma said.
Jaitley himself has maintained a studied silence on this issue but has drawn support from both expected and unexpected quarters.
Former President BJP Rajnath Singh said, “I was the president of the BJP at the time of the government formation in Karnataka. The responsibility if at all is mine.”
Chief Minister Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa said, “I am responsible for the induction of Reddy brothers not Sushma Swaraj or anyone else.”
The party is visibly embarrassed with the leaders of oppostion in parliament going public, just a week before its national executive is to meet in Lucknow to prepare the roadmap for the crucial UP elections slated for 2012.
The dormant bitterness and subdued one-upmanship is now out in the open and unfortunately it’s quite unlike the healthy competition and synergy betweeen L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the run up to the foramtion of the first BJP government in the state.