Modi draws flak from se­nior party fig­ures over poll loss

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI: In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi was hit Tues­day with the first open in­ter­nal chal­lenge to his lead­er­ship since tak­ing power, with se­nior mem­bers of his party ex­press­ing anger at the loss of a key state elec­tion. One­time Modi men­tor LK Ad­vani and three other veter­ans of his right-lean­ing Bharatiya Janata Par ty (BJP) is­sued a state­ment that ap­peared to ac­cuse the premier of fail­ing to seek con­sen­sus, with­out nam­ing him di­rectly.

“The prin­ci­pal rea­son for the lat­est de­feat is the way the party has been emas­cu­lated in the last year,” the joint let­ter re­leased to the me­dia said.

“A thor­ough re­view must be done of the rea­sons for the de­feat as well as the way the party is be­ing forced to kow­tow... and how its con­sen­sual char­ac­ter has been de­stroyed,” the let­ter added.

The oc­to­ge­nar­ian fig­ures have largely been side­lined by Modi since his land­slide vic­tory in May 2014, but have not spo­ken out in such a pub­lic fo­rum un­til now. It came as the premier takes stock of a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat last Sun­day in one of In­dia’s most pop­u­lous states, Bi­har.

Modi had ad­dressed dozens of ral­lies, at­tract­ing thou­sands of peo­ple, in the key east In­dian state and promised vot­ers bil­lions of dol­lars for so­cial and eco­nomic projects, but to no avail.

Ad­vani, a for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter, was one of the na­tion­al­ist BJP’s found­ing mem­bers, and is widely cred­ited for lead­ing the party’s ex­pan­sion in its for­ma­tive years.

He is also rec­og­nized as one of the few lead­ers who groomed Modi for power, un­til they re­port­edly fell out over com­pet­ing po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions. Ob­servers said that the re­volt posed no direct chal­lenge to Modi’s author­ity un­less it in­spired other, younger lead­ers to speak out. “Log­i­cal to join BJP re­volt against Modi if 2014-19 is your last re­al­is­tic shot at power. Daft if you have a longer po­lit­i­cal time hori­zon,” Sadanand Dhume, res­i­dent fel­low at Wash­ing­ton-based Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, said. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.