Sunday, November 29, 2009

'BJP should merge with Congress'

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    • No one can repair the BJP, former party ideologue K N Govindacharya tells Sreelatha Menon
    K N Govindacharya
    • But why did the Congress open the locks?
      They were playing the anti-Sikh, pro-Hindu card. In 1999, Rajiv Gandhi launched his election campaign from Ayodhya. The sants began to unite the akharas for the stone-laying ceremony.

      How did you become accused number 19 in the Liberhan report on the masjid demolition?
      I came to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in 1988. At that time, the BJP was keen on postponing the shilanyas as it wanted to tie up with VP Singh. But the VHP wanted the shilanyas with or without the alliance. My effort as general secretary was that both should happen. In 1990, the kar seva started.

    • How much money was raised for the temple?
      We raised Rs 9 crore. Stones were brought and carved. They are still there at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya. Kar seva was planned for December 6, 1991. Close to 125,000 people came from across the country. They were to take sand and stones to the shilanyas site.

      Where was this?
      It was near the structure. But people were not ready for just a symbolic kar seva. They were frustrated and their leaders could not fathom this. Only 30 per cent of them were from the Sangh. Others were just kar saveks and had no concern for the organisation. My apprehension is that some people from Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Maharashtra were bent on defying the Sangh Parivar. Once they started attacking, others joined. It was a natural resentment.

    • You could have built a small shrine near the structure without whipping up hysteria.
      The mandir would not have been possible without moblisation. But it was possible without demolition. So, Advani said after this that we lost an important issue and that it was his saddest day. I said it should not be condemned or condoned.

      Why saddest day? Didn’t it help BJP?
      No, the BJP lost all five state elections after that. After 1992, it became an untouchable party.

    • Why did you quit the party?
      I was general secretary till 2000 and was wondering what I could do to create space for ideology. But the BJP remained power-centric. Atalji and Advaniji were liberal democrats and believed an ideological party could not come to power. On the one side, there was domination of foreign ecomomic forces, and on the other, the government and the party were not alive to these. Checks and balances were missing. So, first I took study leave and delved into the impact of globalisation. Now, I am building on my conclusions. The foundation is ready in the form of the Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan, which is a political organisation, and Rashtriya Morcha, which is agitational. We will fight elections in 2014.

      What do you thinkthe BJP should do now?
      The Congress and the BJP are both pro-foreign and pro-rich. They should merge. They are not allowing space to pro-poor voices. If you do this, you are leading people to anarchist forces.

      If you were to go to the BJP, what would you do to repair it?
      There are too many conflicts and contradictions. No one can repair it. From Shahnawaj to Varun Gandhi, it’s a 180-degree-wide spectrum. You have Murli Manohar Joshi and Murlidar Rao on the one end on economic policies and Advani on the other. You have Modi welcoming SEZs and malls to wreck the party. He cares two hoots about the Sangh Parivar. You also have Shivraj Chauhan, who can’t live without the Sangh Parivar. All relationships are need-based