‘Political Wars Are Not Fought By Shooting Others’

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Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri dodges uncomfortable questions put by Shobhita Naithani

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Why did you write a letter to the BJP president, questioning your ouster, two months after your resignation?
Who told you that I have written a letter? I have not made any comments about it. This question is irrelevant.

There are newspaper reports.
Ask the newspapers then.

Are you denying that the letter was written?
I don’t want to make any comments.

Do you think the BJP was wrong in its decision to remove you as the chief minister?
This answer is not for the media. Whatever I had to say, right or wrong, I have said it within a party, which is like a family.

But the family battle is out in the open now.
That’s okay. I don’t want to be a participant in this battle.

The BJP lost all five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand. Were you removed as you were held responsible for the defeat?
It’s not proper of you to ask me these questions.

What went against you, the tallest leader in the state, ?
The results of the Lok Sabha elections weren’t good and people at the national level examined the all-India situation and they took some decisions. That’s all.

Could the mutiny from party legislators like former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari be a reason?
Many things could have worked against me. The reasons for the loss in the Lok Sabha polls are being examined by various people, including the party forum, and they have communicated the results to the people concerned. I don’t want to discuss our in-house matters with the media.

Are you satisfied with the results?
It’s like a post-mortem. The aim of the post-mortem is to find reasons. The question of satisfaction does not arise because you are only trying to find out what went wrong.

In your case there was action.
Action is not a one-time process. It’s continuous. Some action has been taken. Some will be taken in the future.

Is the central leadership targeting the state leadership?
No. Why should they do that?

Is there an introspection among the top brass?
Everyone at the national level is talking about introspection and sorting out the chaos.

Is the BJP under pressure to fix responsibilities for the electoral defeat?
(Laughs) I don’t know. It’s for the people at the national level to think about it. I am not a part of that. You are asking me questions which I cannot answer.

‘It is not proper for you to ask me these questions. You are asking questions I cannot answer’

What do you have to say about the party’s ongoing crisis being played out in public?
It’s not good for the party and the country and I do hope this gets sorted out quickly.

Why has a disciplined party like the BJP now become openly rebellious?
These things keep happening. In a democratic set-up people have differences of opinion all the time. But this time it’s not good because it has come out in the open

You are an ex-serviceman. What is easier — fighting a battle or confronting the disarray in politics?
The battle in a political arena is not fought by shooting at each other. There are so many ways of communicating your views. I am of the opinion that communication needs to be done within a party forum and that’s what I have been doing.

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