By P. Raman

We are a ‘party with a difference,’ the newly re-born Bharatiya Janata Party used to boast during the ‘80s and ‘90s. The tag line, coined by K.R. Malkani, was, to an extent, apt. Those were the days when the BJP’s organisational bodies met at regular interval while the ruling party Congress followed the high command system.

The BJP’s organisational bodies held free and fair discussions within the ideological framework of the RSS. The National Executive (NE) had quarterly meetings held at different state capitals. At the National Council meeting – a three-day jamboree open to media – the delegates loudly held forth on party policies and internal functioning.

That was then and now is now. Consider last month’s National Council meeting. It was dominated by Modi’s address on both days and one each by Amit Shah and J.P. Nadda. The 11-page political resolution mentioned Modi as many as 84 times.

Back in the day, special trains carried party delegates who mingled with the large number of correspondents present. Top leaders like L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi accompanied the train and interacted with delegates and media persons, in groups and individually. We had a fairly good idea about what was happening in BJP.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.