August 27, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
New Delhi, India (August 27, 2014): Indian media reports say the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) decision to drop three founding members from its Parliamentary Board, considered to be highest decision-making body, marks the end of an era.
It is notable that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, founding members of Hindutva political outfit that recently gained power in India after last Lok Sabha elections, were dropped yesterday (August 26) from the party’s 12-member parliamentary board.
Dropped leaders have been given the role of advisers in a newly-formed Margdarshak Mandal (guides’ group) which is nothing more than a “token gesture”.
India’s leading dailies have published front-page headlines on the changes. Most of the reports have termed the change as end of BJP founders’ era.
“BJP’s generational shift apace”, reads the front-page headline in The Hindu.
Hindustan Times’ says: “Atal, Advani, Joshi out of BJP power centre”.
“Papers say the changes signal the end of the “transition” in the party and bear the “distinct stamp” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authority”, a BBC report notes.
The Hindustan Times says the party’s move “firmly shuts the political door for the senior leaders who anchored the rise of the BJP in the 1990s and guided it through the tumultuous years in the opposition”.
“It is the first time that Vajpayee, 89, his long-time aide Advani, 86, and Manohar Joshi, 80, have not been accommodated in the board. The BJP has undergone a generational change under Mr Modi,” HT report adds further.
Echoing similar views, the Times of India (TOI) says the new BJP parliamentary board has “the stamp of Prime Minister Narendra Modi all over now”.
The Indian Express says the trio has been offered an advisory role “in an apparent attempt to placate the veterans and fend off accusations of treating the party old guard shabbily”.
“The way things unfolded on Tuesday sends two messages that Modi’s control over the party and the government is total and cannot be challenged. First, that his protégé Amit Shah can take tough decisions previously considered unthinkable, and second, that their coordination with the RSS over such policy matters is very smooth”, notes FirstPoint.
“A decision of this magnitude in the organisational structure of the BJP could not have been possible without RSS’s clearance. To put it another way, the RSS’s faith in Modi is unflinching and any possible irritant in his way has simply been moved aside. The party could claim that the generational change in the BJP is complete. The party president is just about 50 years old and no one in decision making capacity in the government or in the party is over 65”, FirstPoint notes further.
Previously, few weeks back, the announcement of new BJP team by it’s newly appointed president Amit Shah also gave a signal that BJP is turning to be a proxy of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the fountain head of Hindutva.
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