भारतीय जनता पार्टी: एक के बाद एक ढहते गढ़

A decorated structure in the shape of party symbol ‘lotus’ at BJP’s new headquarters in New Delhi. Credit – PTI photo by Manvender Vashist

गुटबंदी की शिकार पार्टी का  नेतृत्व हालात से निबट पाने में नाकाम

Groupism weakens BJP


Published in India Today (Hindi) 6-20 November 1996

कांगे्रस की जगह लेने का सपना देखने वाली भारतीय जनता पार्टी अपने गढ़ में ही ध्वस्त होती नजर आ रही है। गुजरात में कांग्रेस की मदद से सरकार बनाकर विद्रोही भाजपा नेता शंकर सिंह वाघेला ने आत्ममुग्ध केंद्रीय नेतृत्व को करारा तमाचा मारा है।

उत्तर प्रदेश चुनाव में निराशा जनक नतीजों के बाद गुटबंदी के दलदल में फंसी पार्टी सरकार बनाने की जोड़-तोड़ में भी नाकामयाब नजर आ रही है। पर इनसे सबक लेने की जगह दिल्ली, राजस्थान और मध्य प्रदेश जैसे उसके गढ़ों में भी आपसी कलह नई ऊचाइयां छू रही है। Continue reading “भारतीय जनता पार्टी: एक के बाद एक ढहते गढ़”

Jana Sangh Patna Session, 1969


The main outcome of the 16th session of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was perhaps the sharpening of the Madhok-Vajpayee rift. The first indication of the controversy appeared in the working committee meeting when it failed to adopt the draft resolution on the political situation, even after eight hours of discussion, as it was sharply divided over the policy to adopted towards the Congress. Continue reading “Jana Sangh Patna Session, 1969”

Feasting on the Maharaja’s meal

First Print 28 Oct 18



Madhavrao Scindia was one of the most charming political personalities of Madhya Pradesh. The scion of Gwalior’s former royal family was suave and cultured, with a twinkle in his eyes and an easy smile. Once you knew him, it was impossible to dislike him.

He was also one of the wealthiest politicians of his times. The Scindia Empire was the biggest and the richest princely state in MP. They enjoyed the highest 21-gun salute under the British, a privilege they shared with only four other princes in the country.

The Member of Parliament from Gwalior lived in an imposing palace and flew a chopper, making his election campaigns irresistible to journalists looking for colourful copy and glamour quotient in an otherwise drab landscape.

That is how I landed in the one-horse town of Dabra, near Gwalior, early that winter morning in 1998. I was working for India Today then. My photo journalist colleague Sharad Saxena accompanied me on that trip.

We had left our hotel in Gwalior before dawn, without having even a cup of tea, as the campaign trail was supposed to move from Dabra at 7.30 in the morning. Scindia emerged from his room in Dabra’s government guest house at 8, ready to hit the road, and was apparently surprised to see us waiting.“It is too early in the campaign,” he said, “you should have come after 10-15 days.”

“We have an early deadline for the magazine,” I explained.” I requested for an interview and he promised to meet us later in the day.

I had known Madhavrao Scindia for more than two decades, covering his politics, including his journey from Jana Sangh to Congress to Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress and then finally back to the Congress before his unfortunate death in an air crash in 2001.

I had also written extensively about his protracted and bitter battle for the vast property and riches of the erstwhile princely State with his mother. Continue reading “Feasting on the Maharaja’s meal”

Atal Bihari Vajpayee as shadow PM


Was going somewhere when I saw a pit.

I asked, ‘Where’s the road?.’

‘In the pit,’ they said.

I asked, ‘Where’s the pit?’.

‘In the road,’ they said.

Then I saw a man riding a scooter in that pit… sorry, the road.

His wife was riding pillion. Every two minutes he would reach behind and touch her.

I asked him why he was doing that.

He replied: ‘I want to make sure she has not fallen off.”

This is Atal Behari Vajpayee, the BJP’s star campaigner and sheet anchor, on the campaign trail poking fun at the Government’s record on civic amenities. Continue reading “Atal Bihari Vajpayee as shadow PM”