Friday, October 23, 2009

Is this the end for BJP?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Congress's clean sweep in the assembly elections in three states - Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh has come as one more blow to the already demoralised BJP. The party has been reeling under a severe crisis since the Lok Sabha defeat and seems to have lost its connect with the people of this country. The biggest setback for them is perhaps Maharashtra where the people did not choose them over a two term government which had nothing to boast about going into the elections.

The big questions now arises is has the BJP lost its grip on Indian politics and its status as the biggest alternative to the Congress? The saffron brigade has been on a constant decline since the 2004 Lok Sabha polls but the party seems to have been shattered since defeat in the General Elections earlier this year. The infighting among its senior leaders is not helping its cause. BJP which was looked upon for its discipline and in-house democracy is a house in complete disarray.

The RSS which was the main ground force for the BJP also doesn't seem to be in tune with the party anymore. The election defeat has shown that BJP is slowly loosing its roots which it has spread under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. The factionalism between the Sangh and non-Sangh leaders within the BJP seems to be its biggest problem and there is a cloud of uncertainty among the leaders regarding the party's ideology.

BJP's rise in the 90s was an outcome of the people's frustration with India's grand old party the Congress turning into a corrupted, inefficient and indifferent league of leaders. BJP presented itself to the people with a cleaner and more selfless image. But over time the party turned into another Congress with its leadership failing to control the party bottom down and its name being involved with communalims, corruption and inefficiency.

If fresh blood and leadership is not injected into the party immediately, BJP will fall like Jan Sangh and Janata Dal in the past. It is very dangerous for our nation not to have an alternative to Congress as we have seen in the past how bad the grand old party can become in the absence of a strong opposition. After all a vibrant democracy thrives when there is a strong opposition to keep a check on the policies and programmes of the government.


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