NEW DELHI: Walking the caste tightrope in the Haryana politics, the BJP has ruled out resignation of the state unit party chief Subhash Barala. Despite his son, Vikas Barala, stalking daughter of an IAS officer earned widespread condemnation, the party in-charge for the state Anil Jain has ruled out removing senior Barala from his post.
With the term of the chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar having been politically fragile requiring intervention of the Central leadership regularly, the saffron outfit believes that removing Barala may disturb the fragile caste balance in Haryana. Riding the Narendra Modi wave, the BJP had come to power in the state for the first time in 2014. But with Khattar at the helms of the affair, the BJP ruled state has seen Jat agitation for reservation on a regular basis, besides voice of dissidence from within the party ranks against the chief minister.
“Barala is a Jat and the chief minister is non-Jat. Thus, the BJP has so far balanced the caste equations in a predominantly Jat state. Also, Barala is a political lightweight who poses no threat to Khattar,” explained a senior BJP leader why the party would not be rushing to axe its chief in Haryana. He added that the “party cannot punish a father for the deeds of his son”.
Signs of perennial discomfort in the BJP unit of Haryana were evident as the Lok Sabha MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini stated that Barala should have quit the post on moral ground, while referring to the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Incidentally, sections of the BJP leaders noted that the incident, including alleged attempts to influence the police investigation, is giving “too much of bad press” for the party.
“The BJP cannot be seen removing a senior party leader coming under the media pressure. The party may take a close look at the charge-sheet in the case. If the senior Barala is seen involved in the case in any manner, the BJP will get rid of him at a convenient time,” said a senior BJP leader.
Anti-Barala voices were seen within the BJP, as the party MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher denounced attempts of victim-shaming and demanded strong actions against the accused, while the Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy vowed to file a PIL for a CBI probe in the stalking case.