By ANI NEW DELHI As the Indian political scene is increasingly consumed by the political fallout from the death of Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni, the prime minister has made clear he does not intend to join in the chorus of grief from his own party.
In a statement to the media, PM Narendra Modi said he will not participate in the upcoming election, and the BJP will hold a general election within two months.
The prime minister did not rule out joining in the mourning, saying, “It will be a bitter disappointment.
But it will be decided after consultation with the leadership.
I will not go out of my way to celebrate.”
The president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who has been leading the anti-corruption drive since its inception, has not commented.
The BJP has always been accused of having a soft-touch attitude towards corruption.
The government has already been hit with multiple corruption scandals, but the most serious is the one involving the alleged misuse of funds earmarked for the Delhi-based Cricket Association of India (CAI).
The CAI had allegedly misappropriated over Rs 10,000 crore in government grants, including some that were supposed to be given to it by the government.
In the wake of the allegations, the government announced that it would appoint a special panel to probe the matter, which was headed by former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, but a separate investigation is ongoing.
The Congress has strongly criticised the move, saying it will damage the party’s image and make it more difficult to govern.
The party has also questioned the need to form a committee to investigate corruption, which could further hurt the Congress’ prospects.
The decision by the prime minster to not participate was made by the party chief Amit Shah, who said he had consulted senior officials, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the chairman of the Election Commission of India, Arvind Panagariya.
“In his own way, Mr Shah has given the impression that he is in a hurry to form the anti-(corruption) committee and has given a very clear signal,” the BJP’s political secretary, M Saini, told NDTV.
Shah also said the BJP was “worried” about the political damage caused by the death.
The party has already decided to contest the elections in the next two months, with Congress President Sonia Gandhi likely to make a statement in the lead up to the election.
The chief ministership is currently held by Narendra Modi.