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No action expected against Swamy for Jaitley comments

Panini Anand | Updated on: 29 June 2016, 22:47 IST

Once again, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been targeted by someone within the BJP. But unlike in the case of expelled Lok Sabha MP Kirti Azad, no action is expected.

The party is angry about the comments made against Jaitley by Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy. But it seems unlikely that any action would be taken against him - there's merely some advice that has already come his way.

In his interview to Times Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, without naming Swamy, that the comments made against Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan were inappropriate. He also advised better conduct.

Party leaders believe that Swamy has received the message loud and clear. Others in the party who run their mouths are also believed to have got the message.

Contrast this to what happened to Azad, who had taken up cudgels and hit out at Jaitley's alleged role in the plethora of scams surrounding the Delhi and District Cricket Association. A squabble that had not much to do with party affairs resulted in Azad's expulsion.

A senior BJP leader said: "Swamy is not Kirti Azad. Don't compare them. The action against Azad after he openly attacked Jaitley is not going to be repeated in this case".

Another leader added: "Swamy has a different stature and reputation. If there are people who don't like Swamy, there are many who don't like others".

Party leaders not in favour of action

While there are some muted demands for action, most party leaders are silent on the matter and do not want to get into it 'unnecessarily'. Some are scared of Swamy opening up fronts against them (particularly on Twitter), while others think it's a matter restricted to two individuals and that they should not get involved.

In the last couple of weeks, Swamy has made remarks against Jaitley, Rajan, chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.

While Swamy is considered to be in the wrong on this issue, many in the BJP, especially the hardliners, believe that his ideas and presence are useful and important for the party. This is why the demands for action against him are so muted.

Swamy might have got the message, and is waiting for the wind to change. However, Jaitley is not one to forget things easily, and the bitterness between the two may loom large over the party for at least a while longer. That's something the BJP has to worry about.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

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First published: 29 June 2016, 22:47 IST
Panini Anand @paninianand

Senior Assistant Editor at Catch, Panini is a poet, singer, cook, painter, commentator, traveller and photographer who has worked as reporter, producer and editor for organizations including BBC, Outlook and Rajya Sabha TV. An IIMC-New Delhi alumni who comes from Rae Bareli of UP, Panini is fond of the Ghats of Varanasi, Hindustani classical music, Awadhi biryani, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd, political talks and heritage walks. He has closely observed the mainstream national political parties, the Hindi belt politics along with many mass movements and campaigns in last two decades. He has experimented with many mass mediums: theatre, street plays and slum-based tabloids, wallpapers to online, TV, radio, photography and print.