Sunday, June 14, 2009

BJP seems to be in complete disarray

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The resignation of Yashwant Sinha from the BJP shows that saffron brigade is in complete disarray. The party’s lacklustre performance in the Lok Sabha polls has meant that there is infighting and chaos within the party. The recently concluded poll results show that the party which ran the first non-Congress government at the centre for five years has lost tune with the voters across the country. Its support base is slowly dwindling away from it and moving towards India’s grand old party the Congress.

Many in the BJP has cited the moving away from the Hindutva as the reason for the defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls but the saffron brigade seems to have no answer for its loss in 2009. They had backed hardliner Hinduism by endorsing Varun Gandhi’s speech but that backfired not only across the country but even in Uttar Pradesh once BJP’s bastion. It is from the same UP that the BJP had risen in the last two decades to challenge the Congress.

In the late 90’s BJP was termed ‘a party with a difference.’ The average middle class Indian frustrated with Congress’ shabby economics policies saw leadership in the persona of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. They believed here was one party which won’t promote dynasty politics, which has leaders with a corruption free background, a party which won’t misuse Article 356 a thing which the Congress had mastered and above all lead India from being a third world country to a global superpower. But the ‘party with a difference’ seems to have become the ‘party with differences.’

One of the key reasons for the infighting in the BJP comes from the fact that the second level leaders were never groomed to take over the charismatic Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the dynamic Lal Krishna Advani. The Sushma Swarajs, Rajnath Singhs, Arun Jaitleys and Yashwant Sinhas were all equals under the shadow of Vajpayee and Advani but none of them could emerge as a consensus candidate within their own ranks. The Congress never had this problem due to the presence of the Gandhis who will rule the party for ever.

The first major task for the BJP will be to dowse the flames within and do a complete overhaul of their party. They have to come out of the shadow of Hindutva and feel the pulse of a common Indian who needs security and development ahead of a Ram Temple in a certain city called Ayodhya. Keep the Modis and the Varun Gandhis out and promote the Arun Jaitleys. BJPs existence in necessary for the UPA to function well as the fear of being voted out in the last 15 years has propelled the various governments to take developmental steps.


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