Facing attack from outside and growing unease within, Amit Shah “reprimanded” several top party leaders who had made controversial comments on the Dadri lynching and beef row after PM Narendra Modi voiced “extreme displeasure” over their actions. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters are expecting that these motor mouth leaders should be dropped from the squad and can be replaced by a qualified service minded people. For an avid BJP supporter, it gives a feeling that, only a handful of ministers are in action and even the PMO is in full control. Modi must raise the rank of those leaders. Non-performing ministers should be sacked with a stern warning that no inaction shall be tolerated. BJP creates a good impression within India and outside, but there is a belief that it is all because of low oil price. So, it is high time for the leaders to think and take full advantage of the low oil price and steer the country on the way of development. In my understanding, Modi is capable of doing this; however he needs to be more proactive.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan, Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj and Uttar Pradesh MLA Sangeet Som, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, were “summoned” to BJP president ‘s office where they were “lectured” and warned against making comments that “threaten to derail” the Modi government’s “positive agenda”, a senior party functionary said. “Besides, a message has been sought to be conveyed to the entire party hierarchy that leaders should desist from making statements that create unnecessary controversy. People prone to making controversial statements have also been conveyed the party’s unhappiness.
The move came a day after one of BJP’s oldest allies Shiromani Akali Dal termed the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri last month over beef eating rumours a “shame” for the country and said what happened after that was “damaging the Prime Minister more than anybody else”.
As Congress guessed, Shah’s exercise can be a “mere gimmick” and “empty formality” after the “horse has bolted”, because this is not the first time that BJP ministers are getting engaged in stupid commenting, they did it time and again, this time they summoned ministers because such statements will affect the outcome of Bihar elections. BJP and Modi are facing the most crucial political challenge since its government took office nearly 15 months ago. The assembly elections in Bihar and Modi’s arch rival Nitish Kumar is CM candidate from Mahagathbandhan is the biggest political challenge for Modi. A win would strengthen Modi’s hands but if he loses the election, the prime minister would inevitably suffer a loss of face before the international community. Importance of the election cannot be indeed understated. The BJP needs this shot in the arm desperately. However, the opposition is even more desperate.
There are three principal players in Bihar’s political space today — the ruling Janata Dal (United) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the BJP — not necessarily in that order. The Congress has long been reduced to the status of a fringe player in the Bihar politics. While the ruling party is taking on the opposition in a determined and bold fashion, the opposition has agreed to a concrete seat sharing formula. This is a major breakthrough for the opposition parties in the state, which were in disarray and looking for some sort of electoral agreement before the upcoming crucial election. Needless to say, this is the biggest threat to the BJP, which however still has advantages of being a monolith party and that of ruling at the center. Inspite of all these speculations and arrangements, after two phases of elections many think tanks predicted the bad output for BJP in Bihar, the saffron party’s win is uncertain and right now Modi can’t afford this.
The BJP is aware of the political importance of winning Bihar. The severe setback it received in losing Delhi polls in a humiliating fashion earlier this year at the hands of a three-year-old Aam Aadmi Party can be reversed if they could win the state polls. The election is significantly closely related to national politics. The BJP government at the center is being stonewalled at every step by the sulking Congress and its friends in Parliament. And to have leverage in Parliament, Modi would need to have control over Rajya Sabha, the upper house. But this is easier said than done. To get a complete control of Rajya Sabha, the ruling party will have to win every state assembly election over the next three years. This is practically impossible and the past track record of how various states have performed electorally shows this.
It is a fast-changing political scenario in Bihar, the results of assembly elections would shape and determine the political future of Modi and the opposition. However, the fact remains that the Modi magic has lost sheen over the past 14 months. Yet, the time will tell who wins and who will lose in this politically volatile state later. At such critical situation, Modi has still not found time and continues to practice deafening silence. This has been a mere gimmick far from solving issues which amounts to admission of guilt.