From apolitical to be political
First, he refuses to share a dais with L K Advani. Then he says the BJP has no voice in their agitated rhetoric. "It is all apolitical, for god's sake. I am apolitical man". Apolitical, yes we all noted. He was then the convenor of the Amarnath Yatra Sangrash Samiti. Leela Karan Sharma had suddenly risen from the corridors of courtrooms to being a man of prominence. Within days he had stepped right into the gaping hole, left by the absence of an effective leadership in the Jammu region. Religion and region had pushed this "apolitical" man to primetime news. He suddenly became a known face, people followed since there was no one else to lead the three-month-long land agitation.
Last August, at Mubarakh Mandi, the seat of Dogra rulers, he was garlanded. A hero was born, many said. But there is no politics, he said. Assembly elections drew them to speeches once again. "We will not contest since we are apolitical. I am apolitical". And three months on, just 90 more days and the man graduated from Apolitical to 'B political'. "I want to be in politics since the issues I stand for are all political". Yes sir, point taken. A change of heart and a change of policies.
But now he says he was always political. A BJP man since the last 28 years. He worked with the party, for the party and was a known Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member.
In 1983, he even contested the Assembly elections on a BJP ticket. He corrects, "Arre not a BJP ticket, as an Independent candidate after the BJP refused me a ticket. I was angry, I decided to contest and then withdrew my papers". But Sir, the records show that you contested from Jammu East constituency and managed barely 43 votes.
Never mind that. Now, 43 votes and 26 years are a passé. The BJP has decided not to refuse this time. So Leela Karan Sharma now walks and talks the BJP way once again. He has resigned as the convenor of the Amarnath Sangrash Samiti. The Samiti said good-bye even as local BJP men grumbled. His acceptance was their denial. The senior party leadership is all for him. Rajnath Singh has already campaigned, and L K Advani is on his way. This time the dais will be shared.
Leela Karan Sharma goes to villages talking about Varun Gandhi, L K Advani and of building the Ram temple. "Gandhi's last words were. 'Hey Ram'. Then why does the Congress oppose the Ram temple?". He talks about the Amarnath agitation, and promises another battle if "things go wrong". But this time it is a political promise.
And as he promises and becomes political (now, he says he always was political), some shy away, some remember his meteoric rise while others just wait their turn. It's all politics ki leela, they say!