If one asks the youngest kid in the first family of India what he wanted to become, without batting an eyelid he would reply ‘To rule India’. Now that is what is called vision. It is part of the action plan for the team of Congress i.e., leaders and workers to ensure that the next heir apparent to the throne would be coronated as and when the time comes.
Long ago, dust had settled over the debate on which party is more democratic in India. For all its pretence, Congress party works like a monarchy leading other family led pantheon of parties. Only two democratic parties or those which represent both ends of Indian politics; BJP representing the right wing and all fractions of Communist parties representing the left. While the leaders of parties with internal democracy squabble within themselves, scions of Congress had only to instruct their rank and file.
One should develop the skill training programmes of Congress, for their leaders were the best in all aspects, whether it is governing the state or playing the opposition or looting the exchequer or threatening leaders of other parties – oh, it is an endless list. On the other hand, BJP leaders are trained only in opposition and only very few have any real experience of delivering administration. Moreover, there is a manpower crisis in BJP for skilled leaders. Once they formed the government, all spokespersons of BJP became part of administration and thus entered a new set of spokesperson, who only learnt from their seniors and were good as only spokespersons for opposition parties. The left, on the other hand, never had a dearth of supporters from intelligentsia. If needed, they can rope in even Aamir Khan; Okay, they can get an Aamir Khan from JNU.
The nationalist vision of BJP – to rebuild India, is really a great one! No doubts about it. But, then how to achieve it? It is obvious that without having the power to rule India, they can’t achieve it. Now, this is the second term of BJP, with a gap of one decade between them. Even if BJP has a roadmap of ‘rebuilding India’ in say, twenty five years, if there is a gap of one decade between successive terms, it would take a whopping seventy five years to achieve the target. Considering the changing scenario with time, it would take at least two to three centuries to achieve what they would like to, considering they finally succeed. Compare this with the simple objective of Congress of staying in power! Some development would happen on its own, of which they can have their fair share! Now and then, one Narasimha Rao or Manmohan Singh would come from their ranks who pushes down the pedal accelerating the speed of development and the party gains the credit that would be attributed to the excellent leadership of the first family.
And I doubt BJP ever defined how the ‘rebuilt India’ would be. Giving a nice slogan is one thing and describing the vision by some parameters is another. Then, there shall be some long term, medium term and short term goals. They need separate manpower resources that would be working on these goals, in tandem. There shall be exclusive workforce that toils to win elections and another one to provide administration so that the dream would be converted into reality.
Considering BJP really have so many varieties of goals (hoping they really have), it is essential for BJP to realise that they remain in power at the centre. If BJP feels they shall have two third majority in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, it is a different thing, for BJP never worked really hard in half the states and the other half, they are already ruling. Winning successive Lok Sabha elections is imperative for BJP to have any chances of implementing their goals.
Post losing general elections, what Congress did? Nothing! Simply nothing. Prince went on two long holidays. Tried to contest elections here and there. Won a state election in Puducherry. Does it mean Congress is not planning to come to power in ’19? Nay. They had a successive coalition in Bihar. They are trying to topple Punjab government in next elections. They are trying hard to rejuvenate the forces in UP. With little help from BJP by increasing anti-incumbency in Maharashtra and Gujarat (Anandi Ben misrule) and Rajasthan, they can win some seats. Their allies in Bihar, Tamil Nadu will provide some more numbers. Don’t forget that TDP would face anti-incumbency in Andhra Pradesh. If BJP wins Karnataka in 2018, it would make its preparations difficult in the year 2019, as they need to face some anti-incumbency. Congress, if gets more than one hundred seats, with its allies winning another hundred, can coerce another hundred to attain the majority. They know how to blackmail others.
If BJP feels providing good governance from the Union government would help them winning second term, they only need to look at the history. Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari, both are arguably the best prime ministers with an enviable track record have failed in winning second term. In fact, Narendra Modi would be making history if he wins another term. But, it seems BJP is not serious about even trying seriously for winning another term. The way BJP was after GST, as if GST could alone solve all of India’s problems, in fact made them look like a teenager trying to flirt with an imaginary girl who exists only in his dreams. Yes, even if Congress agrees to pass GST, by that time, the electoral usefulness of the bill would have lost.
Even his adversaries agree that the success of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat was mainly due to his ability to reign in the forces of RSS, VHP and Bajrang dal. The fact that Modi could cut many leaders like Pravin Togadia to size was remarkable and it built an image of an administrator. All that was lost in the last two years, mainly due to the Patel agitation and the cow related killings. The resignation of Anandiben was a sort of un-official endorsement. The reason why Modi didn’t allow RSS to interfere in the administration as a CM was that RSS, like Sonia Gandhi could never be blamed for any wrong doings, but credited for all that was good. For any administrator, having such partner is an obstruction in implementing his own schemes. Even the top brass of RSS acknowledges this fact. But, their members at village level do not. They have not had such maturity to read between lines. For them there is no grey area, either black or white. Unfortunately, governments cannot function in such transparent manner and actions of some over-enthusiastic workers or the failure of leadership to contain those workers, put the government in such a spot, from where BJP couldn’t come out easily.
Congress, on the other hand is trying hard to win as many states as possible. Their entire leadership and workforce is sitting idle, unlike the BJP’s workforce that is busy in administration and fighting in-party fights as well. Perhaps, it might have been prudent for BJP to tie up with Mayawati, who seems to have equal chances of winning UP.
After coming to power, the first thing BJP should have tried was to divide UP into four states. Thus, it would make their job easier to concentrate in four states with various leaders. Unlike SP and BSP or even Congress, BJP is not a person oriented party in UP. And none of its leaders have pan-state acceptance. Yet, UP is critical for not only Lok Sabha, but also for Rajya Sabha. With state elections less than one year, BJP can now, not try this feat. Despite betting all its resources on UP, BJP could not provide resources for the state elections, as resources have to be allocated to Gujarat and Punjab. Though Punjab is not significant in the scheme of BJP’s things, losing Gujarat means the beginning of the end to the Modi-Shah combo. So, they would try to win Gujarat at any cost only to lose coherence in UP.
And, by the end of 2017, BJP may almost look like the pale shadow of how it looked in 2014. BJP did nothing to gain foothold in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. As Jayalalitha growing older with no proper successor, there shall be a vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics. With only DMK led by Stalin, there is a political space that is available, at least of opposition. The same is true for Andhra Pradesh. There is no apparent heir to Chandrababu Naidu and the heir of Rajasekhara Reddy has many court cases to be busy with.
BJP claimed that it did provided more financial assistance to Andhra than a legitimate special status could provide. But, who cares for facts, especially in political arena? YSR Congress and Congress could successfully convince general populace of the state that BJP is not implementing the state division act to the word, by back-tracking on the special status. Finally, its trusted ally TDP had to repeat the same line, even in the parliament.
Maybe Arun Jaitley is correct mathematically, but it remained a fact political acumen is not his strength. Had the political wisdom prevailed and Andhra Pradesh got the special status, even with less money, by this time, Venkaiah Naidu would be visiting all districts enrolling members to the party. Alas, he had to go to some other state to become Rajya Sabha member.
It is high time for BJP to have one goal – from short term to long term, i.e., to win elections at the centre. They shall have action plans for all elections from all states to the centre. It is for the think tank functioning under the guidance of the RSS to work out the vision and action plans, for with no power, nothing can be implemented. And, RSS should include in its curriculum that its workers, like it was explained in the Gita, should restrict themselves in helping BJP to win elections with no expectations from the BJP government, if it is in power.
Hope, RSS understands it and explains to BJP.