Maverick Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy's thinly veiled attacks on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appear to have upset the senior party leadership.
A talk by Swamy at KC College in south Mumbai, scheduled for Sunday evening, was abruptly cancelled following a directive from no less than party president Amit Shah, sources told INNLIVE.
Subramanian Swamy was slated to speak at KC College at an event to discuss the completion of 41 years since the proclamation of the Emergency. However, Shah himself is believed to have called up Swamy and asked him not to attend the function. "The party president told Swamy not to go for the event because of heavy rains in Mumbai. However, the real reason was that the senior party leadership was miffed over his recent remarks over Jaitley. The party wanted to avoid a situation which could lead to further controversy," a source close to a senior BJP leader said.
What's more, the BJP leadership has directed that Swamy should not be called for any public functions of the party, sources said.
The event in question was a public meeting on "Emergency-Lessons for Future." Senior leaders, including the BJP's Maharashtra chief Raosaheb Danve and Mumbai president Ashish Shelar, were to be present at the meet.
The public meeting was initially scheduled in April. However, the event was cancelled following fears that he might make adverse comments about alliance partner Shiv Sena.
When contacted by INNLIVE, Ashish Shelar said, "Yes, it is true that the programme has been cancelled." However, he declined to speak on what the reasons for the cancellation were.
Recently, Subramanian Swamy had hit out Jaitley without explicitly naming him, after the finance minister asked Swamy to refrain from criticising Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian. Swamy had said, "People giving me (unsolicited) advice of discipline and restraint don't realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath." The remarks reportedly did not go down well with the BJP. The criticism of the chief economic advisor was perceived as an indirect criticism of Finance Minister Jaitley.
In another statement seen to be aimed at Jaitley, Swamy said,
This was after photographs of Jaitley meeting Bank of China chairman Tian Guoli wearing a lounge suit appeared in newspapers.
Subramanian Swamy also recently launched an attack on Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan. Following the tirade, Rajan announced his decision not to go for a second term at the post.
According to an article on INNLIVE, there is confusion in the BJP ranks as there is an apprehension on who his next target could be. It is also not clear as of now whether Swamy is acting on his own or at the behest of someone powerful in the Sangh Parivar.
If the unofficial ban on Swamy attending public functions of the BJP is any indication, it appears that the party is attempting to rein in its most prominent loose cannon.