Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vajpayee's last minute campaign – A pre-planned move?

Many people were wondering all throughout the election campaign where was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The last that people heard of him was he was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi. His physical condition did not permit him to contest the Lok Sabha polls but he did not even participate in the campaigns. Now all of a sudden he has come up and backed his long standing party colleague L K Advani to be the next Prime Minister of the country.

This is the first election that Vajpayee and Advani are not fighting together after shaping the BJP with the departure of the Jana Sangh. The two politicians have been through thick and thin together and spent time at the prison when Mrs Indira Gandhi had called Emergency. The two leaders brought BJP from a tally of 2 seats in 1984 to form a 13 government in 1996.

This seems to be a smartly pre-organised movie by the saffron brigade to bring in the most respected face in their party to give a final boost to the campaign. It is a well known fact that many of the coalition member in the erstwhile NDA government had struck to the BJP just because they could swear by the name of the poetic Prime Minister. With Vajpayee's slow exit after the 2004 polls these parties dwindled away from the NDA.

Ever since LK Advani was projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate by the BJP, Vajpayee was kept in the sideline. This was done to keep Advani's chances floating as Vajpayee still has the charisma to pull the people of the nation and the leaders of the smaller regional parties towards him. Vajpayee's active campaign would have hurt the chances of LK Advani who is considered to be a hard-liner and has less mass appeal as compared to that of the moderate Vajpayee.

To use the Sangh Parivar terminology bringing in Vajpayee is like using their 'Brahmaastra' just before the Electronic Voting Machines buzz in the 15th Lok Sabha Polls. Only time will say whether Vajpayee was able to woo the voters and bring them to the NDA or the BJP did a blunder by keeping him aside for so long.


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