Rajnath Singh, Son And Rumors: Is It Start Of Another In-Fight In BJP?

The tussle between the senior leadership of the party and ascending medium level workers is a perpetual one.

The Bhartiya Janata Party, unlike Congress, has had its fair share of in-fights.

That too bitter ones.

The tussle between the senior leadership of the party and ascending medium level workers is a perpetual one.

Although it is a good sign for the working democracy in the party, it is always a bad display of weaknesses.

The rumour that home minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj worked as a conduit for transfer of a middle level police officer started a chain reaction of rumours which do not have its source till date.

Someone started a related rumour that Pankaj was called for a personal audience by prime minister Narendra Modi for such improper conduct. The presence of such rumours in the air for a sustained period of more than a fortnight forced Singh to clarify in front of media.

“In the last 15-20 days, there have been continuous rumours in the air about me and my family. I thought rumours have no basis and these will end in some days. But I am seeing that these rumours are gaining momentum day-by-day. I want to assure the nation that the day allegations, even prima facie or even small, are proven against me or my family, I will quit politics and public life and sit at home….I have told this to the prime minister and party president Amit Shah when we were sitting together. They have expressed surprise over this and termed it as completely baseless,” Rajnath said in a hurriedly called interaction with journalists outside North Block.

Even the Prime Minister’s Office dismissed the charges as baseless.

Calling it motivated and malicious the statement said: “This has reference to reports appearing in a section of the media over the past several weeks, mentioning the Prime Minister, and referring to the conduct of some Union Ministers, and alleged misconduct of the Home Minister’s son.

“The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the Government. Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied.”

But the damage was done.

At the same time, the stories were backed by other story that the role of Singh in the appointment committee of the cabinet (ACC) was curtailed to a greater extent.

The rumor, first, gave a sense that prime minister Modi was watching everyone and spared none. Not even his favourite Singh – the number two in the government – and his son. It was just like the snooping episode part two.

Second, it was a direct attack on the integrity of Singh which undoubtedly diminished his stature, earned over decades, in the party and the government.

Third, for Pankaj, it was a vicious attack on his budding political career.

Now, the creative work can be of anybody.

The Congress party, without a doubt, gets the benefit where it gets the ammunition of calling Modi ‘big brother’ again and raising the issue of corruption within the BJP before the much awaited rounds of assembly elections. It is already emboldened by its allied victory in assembly bypolls in four states. But, it simply lacks the craftmanship of such high nature plus the privilege of being privy to small details.

On the other hand, the members of the home party BJP have every possible reason to start such rumour indicating an infight through senior leadership. It will damage the reputation of Modi who has been not-so-much in good books of the senior leadership. With PMO coming in the picture, it will not remain within party’s ambit but it will become more like a matter of governance and ministerial powers.

Rajnath SIngh’s statement is much indicative of this possible in-fight. Also, Singh’s fall will make way for the combine of this leadership to ascend. Also, it will ensure that son-of-someone powerful does not take the place before them.

And, believe it or not, rumours start close from home.

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