Allahabad: Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Tuesday appeared to be taking potshots at the party leadership on its gag order on leaders but made clear it cannot give up its ideology or sever ties with the sangh parivar in the wake of electoral defeat.
He, however, declined to comment on party leader Sushma Swaraj’s reported statement comparing the situation in BJP to a “volcano”.
“Our party president has warned members against speaking on the situation inside the party before the media”, said Joshi, who is not not known to be on good terms with party chief Rajnath Singh or another senior leader L K Advani, at a press conference here.
The former BJP president remarked that during his tenure “I am not making any public statement. During my days (as party chief) things like these used to happen. Then I told everyone not to speak about this outside.
“Our colleagues always complied and I was never compelled to pass a gag order. Moreover, no one used to quit then.”
About discordant notes within the party over its commitment to “Hindutva” and relationship with the RSS in the wake of defeat, Joshi said “we can neither give up our ideology nor sever ties with the sangh parivar”.
Joshi said “Hindutva, as has been observed by the Supreme Court, is not a religion but a way of life. Our party has its ideological roots in this very ancient way of life which we can not give up just because our electoral performance was not up to the mark. Similarly, we can not distance ourselves from the sangh parivar.“
He said the erstwhile Jan Sangh had chosen to pull out of the Janata Party when controversy was raised over the issue of dual membership. The BJP, ever since its formation, has been unequivocal about maintaining close ties with the RSS”.
The former Union minister claimed that it was the nation’s “intrinsic belief in the values of Hindutva”, that saved the country from an economic disaster of the magnitude which is being faced by the developed world.
“Hindutva has always extolled austerity, which encourages people to save money instead of spending. It is this character of the Indians that has enabled the country to sail through at a time when spend-thrift economies are sinking”, he added.
Joshi said the party’s central leadership was obtaining feedback from various state units on the performance in the respective areas “as the situation in no two states was alike”.
The feedback will be taken up for “extensive review after the budget session of the Parliament”, he said.