pramod mahajan once a hero for bjp now forgotten: why bjp has preferred to forget

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pramod mahajan once a hero for bjp now forgotten: why bjp has preferred to forget

Radhika Ramasheshan
Political parties also celebrate the birth anniversary or death anniversary of a leader or a personality by weighing them on the basis of political gains and losses. Congress never misses any opportunity to remember Nehru-Gandhi. This is part of the Congress’ exercise in maintaining the superiority of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the past, present and future. BJP doesn’t have a single family to remember. It cherishes the memories of personalities like Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyay, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Dattopant Thengdi. His birth anniversary, death anniversary or important events of his political life are written with golden letters in the BJP calendar.

BJP forgot Pramod Mahajan

But there is an anniversary which BJP has kind of forgotten. This is the birth anniversary and death anniversary of Pramod Mahajan. If someone writes the history of BJP impartially, then the name of Pramod Mahajan along with Vajpayee, LK Advani, Kalyan Singh and Narendra Modi also comes among those who are credited for the success of BJP in later days. Had it not been for Pramod Mahajan’s murder on 3 May 2006 over a family dispute, the BJP would have looked different after the Vajpayee-Advani era.

Mahajan is here only for these leaders

BJP has completely forgotten Pramod Mahajan. Sudhanshu Mittal does the only program in his memory. He celebrates Mahajan’s birth anniversary on 30 October every year. Mittal had been close to Pramod Mahajan. However, he studied with Arun Jaitley in a college in Delhi. Till a few years ago, Mittal had kept memories related to Mahajan in his office, which has now been removed. Apart from Mittal, former BJP MLA from Mumbai Atul Shah has been celebrating Mahajan’s birth anniversary on his Facebook page. There was a time when every BJP office in Maharashtra used to have pictures of Mahajan. Pramod Mahajan had a long parliamentary career but was mostly a member of the Rajya Sabha. He won the Lok Sabha elections only once in 1996 from Mumbai North East and then lost the next election. However, his record in this matter is better than Jaitley who was never elected to the Lok Sabha.

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Pramod Mahajan was a wonderful speaker

LK Advani, who made BJP the BJP, brought Mahajan to Delhi in the 90s when he was teaming up with Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, KN Govindacharya and M. Venkaiah Naidu. Advani recognized his potential. Mahajan was a leader who recognized the political pulse of the country. He was a brilliant orator who mesmerized the listeners. He had the ability to mobilize, energize and energize the workers by tying together the BJP’s versioned history and Hindu mythology. He was a troubleshooter for the party. In 1995-96, when the BJP’s infighting in Gujarat was getting out of control, Vajpayee remembered Mahajan. It was he who brought reconciliation between Shankarsinh Vaghela and Modi.

Mahajan used to defy the assumptions

Some in the BJP considered Mahajan to be a suit-booted leader who did not hold ground. This may be due to the perception of Indians about leaders. People had this impression about the leaders that they should look simple, they should be seen in kurta-pyjama and chappals but Mahajan was the opposite. He used to wear ‘Ray Ban’ glasses. Used to use mobile phones and used to drive in stylish cars. In 1995, Vajpayee was declared the PM candidate in the BJP meeting held in Mumbai. Then Mahajan had arrived in the meeting in a stylish car, mobile in hand, Ray Ban sunglasses over his eyes. This type of style is common for politicians today.

the shine had faded

During the Vajpayee era, Mahajan used to speak, but with the passage of time, due to other emerging leaders of BJP, Mahajan’s shine faded. Sushma Swaraj’s electoral success, Jaitley’s political and legal understanding enhanced her stature. After the victory in the 2002 Gujarat elections, Narendra Modi became powerful in the BJP and his stature was above Sushma and Jaitley. It is said that in December 2004, Mahajan had forwarded Smriti Irani to demand Modi’s resignation from the post of Gujarat CM.

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BJP’s defeat in 2004 and Mahajan

Mahajan’s stature in the BJP began when the BJP lost in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. It was he who coined the phrase ‘feel good’ which backfired in the elections. Those close to him blamed the Gujarat riots for that defeat. Even Vajpayee never recovered from the shock of the 2004 defeat. Considered very close and loyal to Vajpayee, Mahajan once shocked him when he probably needed him the most. In April 2002, there was a meeting of the BJP’s national executive in Panaji. Vajpayee wanted to remove Narendra Modi from the post of Chief Minister because of the Gujarat riots. He hoped that this voice would get louder in the Panaji meeting. He relied on Mahajan to garner support for it. But Vajpayee fell apart in the meeting. All the members, including Mahajan, voted in favor of Modi continuing as the Chief Minister.
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(Radhika Ramasheshan is a political analyst. Above are her personal views.)


Pramod Mahajan (file photo)

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