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Almost no relationship with BJP: Arun Shourie


New Delhi : In a sign of disillusionment with the party he represented as its intellectual face for many years, Arun Shourie, a former minister in the NDA government, Thursday said he has “almost no relationship” with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and praised Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for her work for the handicapped.

“I have almost no relationship with the BJP. I’ve good individual friends among them but at the party they are doing their thing and I’m not paying them much attention,” Shourie told CNN-IBN in an interview when asked about his relations with the BJP.

Distancing himself from the BJP, Shourie said the party had “anything in particular to do with Hinduism.”

However, Shourie added that his move to distance himself from the BJP was not because of “their commitment to Hinduism but because of Atalji (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) receding from the BJP because of ill health.”

“He is not in active politics. As long as he was there I felt yes, here is a person I should work for. Now they are doing their work and I’m writing my books,” he said.

Shourie, who has penned a book, “Does He Know a Mother’s Heart: How Suffering Refutes Religion” on his disabled son and ailing wife, praised Sonia Gandhi for her work for the disabled.

“In Indian public life there is only one person that I know of who does something conspicuously on the special day for persons with handicaps,” he said.

“That’s Mrs Sonia Gandhi, on Rajiv Gandhi’s birthday, you will always find some photograph of her giving wheelchairs and so on. Why don’t more of us do this? This is a simple thing,” he said. Shourie, a former editor of the Indian Express, however, made it a point to stress that nobody should read much in his praise of Sonia Gandhi.

“Please don’t think I’m looking for a job and I hope no viewer will now start saying this,” he said.