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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Desperate Measures

Dear all,

It would not be wrong to say that the year 2007 was the revival year for BJP. While the stunning victory in Gujarat elections saw the emergence of chief minister Narendra Modi on the national platform and the bagging of Himachal Pradesh brought a new high among the party workers.

But the year 2008 changed it all with respect to what the party actually expected. However, it succeeded to retain Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh; it managed to hold on Karnataka; for the first time got a few more seats in Jammu and Kashmir but lost Rajasthan very badly and could not topple the Shiela Dixit government in Delhi. What is more worrying for the saffron party is that all this happened when Parliamentary elections are few months away.While the principal opposition party, the Congress, still look unwilling to name their prime ministerial candidate, projection of veteran party leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani as its prime ministerial candidate during the Gujarat election campaign was the move that worked well for BJP. It heralded the end of Vajpayee era; it can also be seen as the personal triumph for Advani who earned the wrath of Sangh parivar after his controversial remarks on Jinnah.

But the fizza in the party has changed in the past one month and it is making all worse for Advani. First, the veteran party leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat remonstrated how the tickets were sold by Vasundhra Raje Scindia in the recent elections. Now on the occasion of 'vibrant Gujarat', Anil Ambani and Sunil Mittal pitched for Modi to be the next Prime Minister.We live in democracy and the corporates have every right to express their choices but they should also understand that a nation is no corporate. Kalyan Singh once again shifted his political loyalties.

However, there is no denying the fact that one and a half year ago, Modi all by himself succeeded to generate 'Hindu Sentiment' in Gujarat leaving behind all those who predicted 'No Win' for the man. Since then the focus of media and analysts has rightly been on the struggle for second slot between the party chief, Rajnath Singh and the chief minister, Narendra Modi? With speculationsdoing the rounds that some of Modi's colleauges seems uncomfortable with his rise and the brand of politics stands for. This also calls for getting insights into what kind of person Modi is? He is very self-centric and tough decision-maker as per media reports.

The growing stature of Modi within his party clearly indicates his role as the key campaigner in the upcoming elections, but it could also serve as a litmus test for him, with Gujarat merely a steeping stone because his core appeal still rests on the events of 2002. Infact, I read one his statement he had earlier given to some paper. On being asked about his Hindutva, he said he only sees himself as the leader of 5-million Gujus. This statement in itself reflects his base of hetrogenuous support system while India as a democracy is "Pluralist and homogenuous" and to be the Prime Minister of such 'diversity and dissent' the PM has to be acceptable to all indians; irrespective of how mch dynamism does the man have to revive his party and nation.At the same time, we should also not forget how he was not denied the visa to USA when he attempted to visit the states.

BJP too has to introspect that is the party willing to give reins in the hands of the man who has shown no capacity to work in a team?

But now Modi has himself clarified that he sees Advaniji to be the Prime Minister of the country; we understand the hidden sentiment now since Advani has few years to give to the politics, Modi would not like to disturb it at any cost.
As Modi becomes a force to reckon with, the challenge before BJP is less about who its leader will be - either now or in near future. It will be much more about what kind of alternative it has to offer to the country at large. The bread-and-butter issues are what are coming fore in every state. More than Ram it is Roti that occupies the mindset of today's voter.Advani may be the pragmatic face of the party for the past few decades, as far as his vision for the country for the next five years goes, as a prime-ministerial candidate he doesn't seem to have any conclusive plan for it.

It seems everything is falling into the place at a right time. The new Advani dharma: reach out to BJP beyond the traditional vote bank making it a party with a difference. In a run-up to elections, he(Advani ji) is making all the efforts to be tech-savvy (he has his own website and the PM-in-waiting will be on every social-networking site) so as to reach out to YOUNGISTAN.

It is clear that his party-men are gearing up to set Advani ji on his journey to 7 Race Course Road. At the same time, he should understand that the citizens of this country wants results; it (nation) has woken up, has seen how brtually our "Soul was fractured" on the day Mumbai was attacked. It seems good the way old Hindutva model is repackaged in more delectable terms: all temple talk, Article 370 were replaced by the real electorate issues: good governance, development and internal security.

In this day and age, I am sure Advani ji will make every effort to make us fell more secure with a sense of belonging to India so that every citizen irrespective of his caste, inspite of how poor he is will be able to achieve, dream and aspire so as to fulfill our collective aims and goals.

The party's rise began under Advani's leadership when it first set the political agenda and emerged as premier opposition party but a lot has changed since then. Modi's win may have electrified the party but to see the next leadership of the party emerging under him would be like asking the man himself to readjust his style, orientations and approach of his politics if he is to fit in the present polity which is earmarked by the predominance of coalition politics.

This is the point that in itself stress th eimportance of the original 'iron man' of the saffron party. What goes for Advani is that although he cannot provide the poetic vigour of Vajpayee; he has allies behind him; his statesman-like age will help him to unite the various factions of the BJP's second generation leaders. He is almost there with the promise of good governance but he should see that controversy does not find him again since the saffron spotlight is now firmly placed on him.


1 comment:

  1. Advani is a PM in Waiting 4 BJP bt then he can't stand on his words. He is a very opportunistic kind like every good Indian politician. His words on Jinnah and recent alliance with INLD in Haryana and SAD in Punjab r a glaring xamples as he himself used 2 say in election speeches that he's against joining hands wid regional parties.