In BJP circles in Delhi, for the last 18 months or so, a common refrain has been, “Amit Shah delivers, whatever be the circumstances.” So last month when the BJP president promised there would be firecrackers in case the party lost in Bihar, he wasn’t seeing Diwali in a new light. The firecrackers did happen. So what if it wasn’t in Pakistan? Shah delivered on his poll promise of bangers with help from his own backyard; the marginalised old guard of the BJP.
For the Narendra Modi-bhakts in the BJP, the scathing letter from party veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, demanding accountability for the Bihar debacle, was something that had been “expected for a long time”. Over a year after its formation, the margdarshak mandal (which includes two of the current dissenters, Advani and Joshi), many believe, was simply striking back for being sidelined by the new dispensation. The BJP’s young blood affirms, “They were waiting for a chance. The Bihar results presented a good opportunity to pull the Modi-Shah combine down.”