By Chandrakant Naidu
Bhopal: Kailash Vijayvargiya, Modi’s key man in West Bengal politics and BJP national general secretary from Madhya Pradesh, is feeling the heat at his own home turf. An FIR has been filed against Vijayvargiya and Indore BJP MP Shankar Lalwani for threatening government officials. The FIR was filed more than 36 hours after Vijayvargiya publicly threatened the authorities saying “Our Sangh (RSS) leaders are (here), otherwise (we) would have set Indore on fire today.”
Vijayavargiya’s close associate and legislator Ramesh Mendola and 350 others have also been charged with inciting public violence and breaching prohibitory orders. Vijayvargiya and his supporters are at the receiving end of an anti-encroachment drive launched a fortnight ago.
Those who thought Vijayvargiya’s crass political conduct and Friday’s outburst could embarrass the party leadership and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been proven wrong. No one from his party or the RSS has objected to his statement. The BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra went to the extent of disowning Vijayvargiya’s statement which has gone viral since. Patra said “Kailashji can’t say this. He is the party’s fire tender.”
With the Seva Dal of the Congress inciting the right-wingers and getting the desired effect, the conflict might continue for some time.
Kailash’s son Akash had put the party in an awkward position when he bashed up some civic officials with a cricket bat some months ago in Indore. The party ignored the matter.
The RSS realizes that the BJP could not have reinforced itself in the heart of the Malwa region but for the brazen ways of Kailash. He has overshadowed former speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan who opposed his style of functioning. With the change in the regime, he and his acolytes are being targeted for encroaching upon public property or grabbing land.
“Akash bat” and “Kailash match” have now become a part of the social media derision. Some enterprising members from the Congress have put the “Kailash Matchboxes” for public distribution as an ideal means to set a town afire.
The Congressmen are selling Kailash matches to embarrass the BJP and the party is now squirming over the public reaction.
Kailash Vijayvargiya’s anger was misplaced. He got Indore district BJP president to write letters to the local officers asking them to attend his meeting to discuss civic issues. However, no one turned up as he holds no constitutional authority to address such meetings. But, his party didn’t question him on this.
Some Congress members asked him to stop deluding himself. “The Shivraj circus is over. The Kamal Nath government is here and it is not going to take your tantrums lying down,” a Congress member tweeted.
“The experience of West Bengal is showing… Kailash ji, there is no one to take orders here,” another Congress member said referring to his efforts to cause violence in Bengal as general secretary in-charge of that state.
Enraged over the officials’ response, Vijayvargiya staged a dharna in front of the residence of Commissioner Akash Tripathi along with party MP Shankar Lalwani. This is where his infamous statement about “setting fire to Indore, but for the presence of party hierarchy” was recorded which turned viral.
“Beta ballamar aur baap aagbaaz”, said another Congressman trolling Kailash. “Hey! Stung by the ongoing action on the mafia in Indore, BJP leader is threatening to set Indore on fire,” he said.
Narendra Saluja, the media coordinator of State Congress, said: “Had Akash been punished effectively when he hit the municipal officials with a bat Kailash Vijayvargiya could not have dared to openly say what he said on Friday.”
Saluja said the Prime Minister had made a stern statement against Akash Vijayvargiya, but no action was taken against him. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah must take notice now and act against the father.
Kamal Nath’s government’s drive against the Mafiosi is hurting the likes of Vijayvargiya, who said he has refrained from hitting the adversaries below the belt. “But, if the government is selectively acting against his party members he will not sit quietly.”
The Seva Dal act of targeting Savarkar could have caused damage to the Congress, but, Vijayvargiya seems to have undone the damage.
By daring his successor Uddhav Thackeray to act against Congress, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has embarrassed the Shiv Sena. The BJP office bearers like Vinay Sahasrabuddhe have already said the Congress’ views or Seva Dal’s slander doesn’t in any way reduce their respect for Savarkar.
Another provocative action came from the BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi who said that 566 Bangladesh Muslims have been granted Indian citizenship. “We can’t be expected to carry Muslims on our heads.”
The party and the RSS are no longer afraid of polarizing views on communal lines.
The tussle for political dominance has been aggravated by the recent developments and this could harm both the parties. While Kailash Vijayvarigiya could erode his party’s support base, the Seva Dal act of slandering Savarkar could boomerang on the Congress too.