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Figuring out Arun Jaitley's googly

March 27, 2009 16:02 IST
Arun Jaitley is the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief election strategist. As such, he is responsible not only for poll 'management', but also newspaper advertisements, slogans; etc. Indeed, a powerful position.

He has a great responsibility during the campaign for the general election.

His future political career depends on how he manages and steers his party to victory. If the BJP's showing is poor, Jaitley would be answerable in large measure.

Therefore, Jaitley simply cannot afford to be seen as a failure this time.

The BJP seems to be losing its earlier grip over the national Hindu psyche. Mayawati and others are nibbling away at its traditional vote banks.

Despite the absence of any major issue currently in the BJP's favour, the strategist would be accountable for poor performance in the polls.

The prospects of the BJP's L K Advani continuing -- post-election -- to be merely the pathetic 'PM-in-waiting' seem to be growing.

The far-sighted Jaitley seems to have read the writing on the wall.

Jaitley is a shrewd and cunning politician who has to survive a possible BJP debacle.

With uncanny foresight, peshband (the shield) Jaitley has therefore resorted to the blame game well in advance. Attack is the best form of defence. Not of the crude Rajnath Singh brand, though.

Suave, subtle, yet sinister.

Rajnath Singh, the BJP's national president, hates Jaitley. He has been cornered and pulverised by the 'Mittal googly' sent down by Jaitley. And that too over very high and 'larger ethical issues.'

The catch-22 situation crafted by Jaitley puts not only Rajnath but the entire senior BJP leadership led by Advani on the defensive.

How can anyone justify -- and that too openly -- the appointment of someone like Sudhanshu Mittal? Certainly not the honesty-obsessed BJP leadership.

The dhansu (amazing) Mittal was a fixer for Pramod Mahajan. He did a lot of party work during the 2003 assembly election in Rajasthan, which was won by the BJP, and then during the 2004 parliamentary election, which was lost by the BJP.

Earlier, Mittal operated surreptitiously. Everyone in the BJP was aware of him, but preferred to ignore his various deeds.

Today, had the BJP's prospects improved dramatically, maybe Jaitley, as the party's chief election strategist, would have ignored him and kept quiet.

But, soon after Naveen Patnaik ditched the BJP in Orissa, Jaitley did some quick thinking to re-evaluate the party's prospects.

Practical as ever, Jaitley realises that he may have to save his own neck.

And this brilliant legal luminary and shrewd strategist has crafted his strategy to pass on the blame to the relatively dull and dumb Rajnath Singh.

Is it not rather strange and perplexing that Jaitley attends 'informal' meetings to firm up candidates and manage the party's 'election war room'?

More so, when the very responsible senior leader sulks and 'boycotts' his own party's crucial and formal central election committee meetings?

Double standards? Oh, no. Just Jaitley standards!

He has cunningly tried to safeguard his own interests, that too with a high 'ethical' stance. Brilliant as ever, Jaitley has done it once again.

The pact with the Asom Gana Parishad was in fact supervised by another Jaitley rival, Sushma Swaraj. Mittal 'facilitated' and firmed up the BJP's deal with the AGP.

Once Rajnath formalised Mittal's position as 'co-convener' and BJP's poll manager for the North-East, the wily Jaitley lost no time in pouncing on Rajnath.

That the BJP has rather weak prospects in the North-East is not the issue.

By launching a 'principled' attack on Mittal, Jaitley has tried to safeguard his position in case of any adverse showing by the BJP.

Jaitley has also put arch-rivals Rajnath and Sushma in a vulnerable position.

Heads he wins and tails they lose!

With our man Arun Jaitley all along sitting pretty on a high and 'ethical' pedestal!

Nazarwala