Guys, what is going on? Pretty confusing scenario unfolding: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/d...-and-shah-are-losing-grip-on-bjp-2554508.html ########################################## Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani will represent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the civil and criminal defamation suits filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crore in damages. Kejriwal is not the only one hitting out at Jaitley. Kirti Azad has unrolled a laundry list of 52 questions for the Finance Minister at a well attended press conference. The latest on this fight that's not going to die soon: - 14 companies paid by DDCA for renovation works at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium do not exist in the addresses mentioned in the bills. - Azad poses 52 questions to Jaitley without naming him, on his role in DDCA and his family’s “involvement” in Hockey India. - “Arun Jaitley conveniently avoided answering more than 200 letters and 500 messages about wrongdoing and swindling of DDCA money through his 14 years as president.” - BJP spokesman Shrikant Sharma: “These are fake and foolish allegations.” - “Is it true that your daughter and son-in-law are active members in Hockey India? How much money has been paid to them over the last five years for retainership in Hockey India, for consultancy and for being several committees of Hockey India?” Its not legal, it's political Kirti Azad’s continued diatribe against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and refusal to abide by the directive of the party leadership has exposed the existing faultiness within the BJP. That too at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah are in complete command of the government and the organisational structure. There is little doubt that in times to come the DDCA issue will see many twists and turns, legal, administrative and political but what should worry Modi and Shah in particular is Azad’s abject defiance of the party’s diktat. Jaitley may be competent to defend himself as he did it on Monday — first in both Houses of Parliament and later by filing civil and criminal defamation against Arvind Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpayee. The concern for the party is Azad’s challenge to Jaitley has the potential to snowball into a major internal crisis. This issue after all, is more political than legal. BJP parliamentarian Kirti Azad. PTI The problem is even more acute because unlike in the past, such dissenting voices, almost raising a banner of revolt as pronounced by Azad’s bitter tweets, press conferences, series of sound bites and challenge to his own leader in Lok Sabha is not rooted in challenges or counter challenges on ideological moorings or factional fights. This is largely a personality centric conflict aimed against a person who is part of the “ruling triumvirate”, someone considered closest to both the prime minister and party president. Where does Azad draw his strength from to take on someone as high and mighty as Jaitley in the organisational and governmental set up? That’s the big question, people are asking within and outside of the BJP. Shah had spoken to Azad asking him not to go ahead with his press conference on DDCA issue. Party general secretary (organization) and a RSS nominee in BJP Ramlal had spoken to him but he remained defiant. Shah is generally known for his tough talks with party leaders when he thinks that the leader concerned is speaking out of turn, crossing party lines or acting in a manner that could be detrimental to the party and government’s interests and image. But in this case it is not known as to how exactly it transpired in the meeting between Shah and Azad. However, the way events have followed, it looks as though party leadership tried to work out a deal rather than rebuke Azad. Azad is constantly maintaining that his fight is against corruption and not against an individual but his arguments in Lok Sabha on Monday with Jaitley and his tweets — “hello dear @arunjaitley hampar defemation file kar rahe ho na? Please karo na Don't take injunction, don't gag freedom of speech”... Mera naam kyon hata diya @arunjaitley #Aap ne toh mere letters dikhae theey, mujhpar karo na case, registered post se maine bheje theey” — indicate that his fight is against his own leader. A fight he has been openly and rather blatantly waging against Jaitley for close to a decade. Jaitley earlier said that Azad (without naming him) had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, a meeting which resulted in UPA government referring the DDCA matter to Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). Azad’s letters form the basis of Aam Aadmi Party’s vitriolic attack against Jaitley. Some party leaders talk about “Azad being used by Congress and AAP to raise the muck” against Jaitley but they don’t explain why the leadership has failed to take action against him. It’s known that Kirti Azad is son of Bhagwat Jha Azad, former Bihar chief minister from Congress, but the former cricketer’s political career has flourished in BJP — from Delhi MLA to being two time MP from Darbhanga in Bihar. He was given ticket by the party in the parliamentary elections of 2009 and 2014 despite Jaitley's reservations. His wife Poonam Azad, however, was denied a ticket for the Delhi assembly elections. Since 2009-14 when Jaitley was Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Azad was perceived to be close to Sushma Swaraj, the then Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. Since 2014 Parliamentary elections results, Sushma has generally been keeping quiet and a low political profile, keeping herself focused on her work and away from internal dynamics of the party. There is a general thinking in the party that she couldn’t be backing Azad in the ongoing slugfest, the perceived proximity with her is also being talked in some quarters. Unlike in Rajnath Singh's case, or Sushma Swaraj’s case, or Vasundhara Raje's case or as in Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s case, party president Shah has not come forward, at least publicly to stand by Jaitley’s innocence. It is likely that Union ministers like Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Rajvardhan Rathor and others could have gone to the court when Jaitley filed the defamation suit against AAP leaders without clear understanding of Modi and Shah’s views on the issue. Absence of a public statement from the PM or Shah in Jaitley’s support has given rise to varied speculations. Ahead of the winter session of Parliament, the BJP had lately succeeded in taming its hotheads. Kirti’s rebellion against Jaitley is different from the dissenting voices raised by the likes of RK Singh and Shatrughan Sinha. Incidentally all three are from Bihar. RK Singh and Shatrughan Sinha have maintained a thin line between dissent and revolt but Azad has gone to a different tangent, damaging Jaitley, BJP and Modi government internally and externally. Going by the facts and circumstances the former cricketer doesn’t appear to be a lone warrior. That should worry the BJP leadership.