Allahabad: Once one of the three pillars of the BJP along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi is now nowhere on the party’s leadership spectrum here at the National Executive meeting.
Joshi, a former party president, has neither been invited to the two-day convention of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Executive nor his pictures are to be seen on some of the posters and hoardings that feature both Vajpayee and Advani.
BJP sources said Joshi, who represented this city in parliament for three terms, has been here for two days, but no one from the party has paid him any attention.
Some party workers have put up posters expressing their protest against what they see as an insult of a senior leader.
“What is it if not an insult to Joshi ji? He is deliberately being belittled. Why is he being treated like this?” a leader who is close to Joshi said.
He said the BJP has marginalised Joshi in his own ‘Karmabhoomi’ Allahabad where he studied, taught, and started his political career.
After being pushed out from Allahabd, Joshi contested the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi in 2009 and from Kanpur in 2014. The BJP fielded businessman Shyama Charan Gupta, who came from the Samajwadi Party, from Allahabad in 2014.
Allahabad represents the broader trend in the BJP whereby the party leaders have been pushed out by the outsiders, said sources.
“Outsiders have now more say in BJP than the party leaders. The BJP itself is becoming ‘Congress-yukt’ (permeated with Congress), rather than ‘Congress-mukt’ (free of Congress),” they said.