In May 1996, India witnessed an epic moment in the Parliament when Atal Bihar Vajpayee's first time brought him a floor test within 13 days of taking oath as India's Prime Minister when BJP emerged as the single-largest party in Lok Sabha. But, with its 161 seats and Congress at 140, BJP was way short of halfway mark of 272 and Vajpayee was given two weeks by the President to prove his support in the house.
Despite all efforts from the group of BJP leaders who tried to woo smaller parties to join the BJP and support them, their efforts failed as they couldn't cross 194 member-strength in the Parliament. A few minutes into the speech, Vajpayee said: "We bow down before the stronger alliance... but rest assured that we won't rest until we finish the work we have begun in the nation's interest," following which he resigned as the Prime Minister, after losing the no-confidence motion.
Cut to 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Going by the kind of leadership Vajpayee offered the BJP, 23 years later, if one observes Modi-Shah's style of leadership, one can see a complete contrast in the leadership style and moral responsibility towards party. Even if NDA falls short on numbers (despite the exit polls showing 300 plus seats for the BJP), there are chances that Modi-Shah could buy out MPs rather than resign in style like Vajpayee did.
As they say, desperate times demand desperate measures, Modi may have given a new direction to the party, but the party insiders still feel that morally and ethically, the party is changing according to the times. What Modi's style of leadership also indicates is a whiff of arrogance coupled with immense self-belief that the BJP can make its "Akhand Bharat dream true," unlike Vajpayee who believed that poaching candidates from other parties is an unethical move in politics. Well, Modi is definitely not Vajpayee!
Atal ji planned to sack Modi: Yashwant Sinha
Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP leader who served as union minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet, turned into a biggest critic of Bharatiya Janata Party after exiting the party in April 2018. In a fresh round of attacks, the senior politician has made an interesting revelation that Vajpayee had planned to sack Modi following post-Godhra riots in 2002, but it was stopped by other senior and then Home Minister LK Advani.
He said: "Following communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a decision to bring down Modi as Gujarat CM. But, as far as I know, LK Advani stopped Atal ji from doing it. Advani warned he would leave the cabinet if Narendra Modi is made to resign."
Taking a jibe at PM Modi for alleging that late PM Rajiv Gandhi used INS Viraat as a "personal taxi", Sinha said "It is not as per dignity of PM to speak lies and these are non-issues now. However, the former naval officers had issued clarifications on it." He also attacked Prime Minister for using the raising the issue of Pakistan in poll campaigning.
Gujarat riots, one of the biggest inter-communal violence, has left 1044 dead, 223 missing and 2500 missing as per official figures. However, in 2012, Narendra Modi was given a clean chit by Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by Supreme Court of India.