BJP, the party of cadres that always boasted about the importance of cultivating an ideological footprint, but in the recent past, BJP has been divided on every part; there is rat race among karyaakartas and everyone is in hurry to please their master by all means. In the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, the popularity ratings have gone down, once upon a time, people trusted in his leadership. But the inclusion of other party leaders to BJP and sidelining ground workers somewhere have gone against the party interest.
BJP is in the middle of the most noteworthy transition of a political party in present-day India. Never before has a party, other than the Congress, commanded such dominating presence across the country. And that’s noteworthy since the BJP comes from an entirely opposite ideological camp of the all-inclusive political philosophy of the Congress. On the surface, this may appear like an ideological victory, where one way of thinking has stamped out the other. Quite often, we underestimate the hubbub and alteration that have happened within the party in the last three years, which, in many ways, is central to this massive shift.
The BJP, as a party, has had to reconfigure itself into an effective and ruthless power machine. Here everyone in rush to gain some or the other thing by creating some or the other hype. The remake of the BJP under Modi and Shah has happened along broad lines. Internally for the BJP, it’s by now clear that there’s no better political mantra than the PM’s personal popularity. Which means: find a way to tie any campaign to Modi, from the panchayat and civil polls to national polls and the party’s chances improve. He, as PM, was never so active in last three years than campaigning for the party, he remained just a campaigner first, and without Modi the party has nothing to gain. BJP would go to scratches without Modi. He is the saleable commodity of party at this moment.
Just Modi, as the face of the party, has achieved but ground reality is that, Modi has not changed the fate of people. He has once again proven to be mass murderer after demonetisation disaster and now GST. Common public is not at peace, there are accusations about jobless growth, breakdown in law and order after high-profile cases of public lynchings by cow vigilante groups and the continuing implosion of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s coalition government with the People’s Democratic Party in Kashmir haven’t managed to dent Modi’s approval ratings. Once BJP’s staunch supporters now started attacking the party and its policies quite openly, media has gone berserk, and no one has its own voice. If someone dares to speak against the establishment, they are harassed to the core by all means. The social network group of BJP is all hell bent on damaging and trashing the image of a journalist who criticizes party and its politics.
MP Varun Gandhi, once a wanted leader in BJP, but looking at his mother’s aspiration to make him CM of Uttar Pradesh, very own BJP got to leak his videos and shrunk all his chances in politics. They have snubbed many such leaders and absolutely centralised the powers. He was missing from his party’s electoral campaign in his own constituency of Sultanpur. The firebrand leader’s remarks at a programme in Indore have not gone down too well with the top leadership.
Speaking at an event, he alleged that his party had failed to address the development of minorities. He even raised the issue of Rohith Vemula’s suicide and remarked that he was moved to tears after reading Vemula’s suicide note.
Concerning the issue of farmer suicide, he alleged discrimination in debt recovery. The rich are given concessions while the poor are killing themselves, he said. More importantly, his name was struck out of the party’s star campaigners list soon after the speech was made. Actually, the BJP is going through a contradictory phase. On the one hand, it claims to be against dynastic politics and keeps targeting the Nehru-Gandhi clan, but on the other, within its own ranks it practices such politics.
In Karnataka, Yeddyurappa was sidelined by BJP but when they realised Lingayat votes are must to win, they somehow patched up with him. Yeddyurappa, who belongs to the Lingayat community, and Eshwarappa, a leader of the Kuruba caste, began during the BJP’s first term in 2008. It resurfaced in April 2016 when the central leadership of the party appointed Yeddyurappa as the chief of the state BJP. Though many believe that the choice of chief ministerial candidate in Yeddyurappa is unlikely to change, the fight between the two could lead to a loss of votes from either community—Lingayat and Kuruba. The Kuruba community has been demanding to be brought under the Scheduled Tribe category. When Eshwarappa launched the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade, a movement based on an 18th century freedom fighter from the Kuruba community, to mobilise backward class votes, Yeddyurappa saw this as a threat and objected to BJP members joining the Brigade. Yeddyurappa won many elections for the BJP in Karnataka and it was during his tenure that the party first came to power in 2008. It was also the first time that the BJP was in power in any of the southern states.
From Lal Krishna Advani to the lower strata leaders, all have some or the other rift and disappointment within. No one is happy in the party, as they pretend to be.
In terms of policies, especially economic and foreign policy or in terms of structure and behaviour, BJP’s growth has similarity with the Congress, in the manner in which the party machinery functions and is controlled, raising eyebrows even among a section of its staunchest supporters. Indeed the BJP is UPA-3 in the making when it comes to policies. Anyways, if we come to Maharashtra, other than PM, local leaders have nothing much to display or boast. Very lethargic government bodies, giving challenges to each other, none of them want to be united. The internal party hierarchy is beyond control, but people still stuck to Modi with hopes, let’s see how it goes ahead.
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