New Delhi, May 13. — The BJP central leadership is understood to have decided in principle to nominate one of the family members of the late Pramod Mahajan to the Rajya Sabha. But the party cadres are apparently not happy with the move.
After taking this decision on inducting one of the Mahajan family members to the Upper House of Parliament, the BJP has conveyed its proposal to the family. In all probability, the BJP’s proposed Rajya Sabha nominee would be either the late party leader’s son, Mr Rahul Mahajan, or his widow, Mrs Rekha Mahajan, reliable sources told The Statesman.BJP insiders said though it might be the party’s way of paying its homage to its deceased general secretary, leaders and workers slogging at the grassroots level in Maharashtra and other states of the country are rather not happy with the proposal.
We have thousands of party cadres working hard for a place in the party. It defies logic that party is now planning to send one of Mahajan family members to Rajya Sabha on sympathetic considerations”, is their counter-argument.In fact, the BJP’s decision has evoked sharp reaction within the party rank and file who feel the move is no different from the Congress party’s similar decisions of bringing in kins of deceased leaders to political power corridors. They insisted that “ability” and not the “lineage” should be the criterion for the selection to important positions. The BJP cadres engaged in party’s ground work are also said to be unhappy with the manner the party stalwart and Opposition leader, Mr LK Advani publicly removed an embargo on his family members from joining politics recently.
This clearly meant opening the party power doors to his son Mr Jayanta Advani and daughter Ms Pratibha Advani. Opposing such a bid by Mr Advani, party insiders said these steps would make the party’s consistent opposition to the politics of dynasty being practiced by the Congress sound hollow and hypocritical. There is a growing feeling among the party rank and file that suddenly personal “likes and dislikes” for individuals have come to play a deciding role. It is being alleged that ahead of the recent elections to the Rajya Sabha, senior RSS leader Mr Suresh Soni, in charge of the BJP affairs in Sangh, pushed for Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee’s private secretary Mr Shiv Kumar for a seat in the Rajya Sabha. The move was scuttled by Mr Advani.Dipankar Chakraborty/SNS