From wider prospective, the suspension of two party MLAs and serving of show-cause notice to four ministers and 16 party MLAs is not only aimed at restoring discipline in BJP but also at sending the message to the rank and file that party and its policies are above the caste and community considerations.
Despite being a well-disciplined party, in comparison to Congress and some other political parties, of late its ministers, legislators and other leaders have started giving more weightage to the communities to which they belong. They have the belief that they could survive and thrive only with the support of their castes and communities. Old-timers never talked about the caste consideration to run the party or to select the candidates for various elections. But the same is not the case with new entrants in the party, who have yet not fully understood and are not aware of the culture and great tradition of the party.
So when Gujjar agitation was over, the state BJP president, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, decided to do some thing to check the growing caste and community polarisation in the party. He talked to his senior party colleagues including party'snational treasurer, Ramdas Agrawal and former deputy chief minister Harishankar Bhabhra. He drew a list of those leaders, who during the peak of Gurjjar agitation, took sides of their communities and in no uncertain term said that for them their community was more important than the party.
Two Gurjjar MLAs, Atar Singh Bhadana and Prahlad Gunjal, were in forefront to support the Gurjjar agitation. During those days, they were speaking the language of leaders of Gurjjar Sangharsh Samiti, which was spearheading the agitation, and criticised the party and the government.
Even being Minister, Kalu Lal Gurjjar, criticised the government, of which he is a part, for police firing on agitators. The senior party leaders were not surprised by public utterances of Mr. Bhadana, as he is new to the party, but they were upset by the statements of Mr. Gunjal and Mr. Gurjjar, who are not only old hands, but till other day were known as disciplined soldiers of the party. These two MLAs on record had said that for them their community is above the party.
Similarly, Civil Supplies Minister Dr. Kirori Lal Meena, who has a strong RSS background, during those days, virtually forgot that he was a BJP man and has the collective responsibility as a minister. He not only mobilised the Meena MLAs from BJP, but also from Congress and other parties, to oppose the inclusion of Gurjjars in the Scheduled Tribe category. Many party leaders were shocked that a man like Dr. Meena had said that he and other Meena MLAs were more accountable to the Meena community than the party, which they belong to. Veterans like Bhabhra were amazed over the way these party MLAs from Gurjjar and Meena communities were behaving. They sound like caste leaders than rather belonging to BJP, he said.
The action and show-cause notices have the desirable effect on these MLAs and discipline may return to the party. But that would be kind of temporary one as party leadership has to do something serious to bring back the old tradition when leaders would sit like a family discuss the matter thoroughly before taking a final decision.
According to Dr. Sharma, ?We may direct the ministers, MLAs and other leaders of the party not to attend the caste or community conferences as there is a tendency that these meets are focussed on to to increase the communities? political clout and more share in the power. But they would not be barred from attending social functions of the community.?
After taking over as state party president, Dr. Sharma organised a training camp for ministers, MLAs and district party functionaries at Pushkar. The idea behind this camp was to educate them about the policies of the party and importance of the organisational set-up of the party. Though he had the plan to organise such more camps, he could not do it for one or the other reason.
But old-timers feel something has to be drastically done to check the growing caste affiliation, undermining the party. They also say, gone are the days, when party functionaries and candidates were selected on the basis of their work in the area. Now caste considerations have become the order of the day, which is against the basic concept of the party.