Russian roulette is a lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against the head, and pulls the trigger. If the loaded chamber aligns with the barrel, the weapon will fire, killing or severely injuring the player. You must have seen such a game being enacted in films and web series. It makes for a powerful and engaging cinematic experience, where the sheer uncertainty of the next instance can tickle the minds of the observers. In politics, the Russian roulette can be equally damaging.
Indian politics is dominated by one man and one party. The man is Narendra Modi, and his party is the BJP. There is perhaps no other leader who has led to the destruction of the political fortunes of parties across India. The Congress is a case whose file has been shut for quite a long time. It is unwilling to change, and its present organisation has been rendered useless by PM Modi.
In terms of regional players, many satraps thought they could hurt the BJP at a local level. They thought they would play their part in their own states and regions of influence, and subsequently form a rainbow coalition of non-BJP parties to form the government at the Centre. This is the strategy with which the opposition parties fought the 2019 General Elections. They lost to the BJP rather humiliatingly.
Who all have been destroyed?
Opposition parties continuously make the mistake of turning an enemy out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If there is one man who cannot be attacked politically in India right now, it is PM Modi. Personal attacks do not work against him. Instead, they prove counterproductive. Let’s have a look at all those who are today fighting for relevance, only because they chose to attack PM Modi and challenge him.
But do you know what is even worse than challenging Modi? Betraying him.
Let’s start with Chandrababu Naidu. He was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh; his MPs were ministers in the central government. One day he decided he was fit to be the Prime Minister, which is why he broke the alliance with the BJP and abused PM Modi. Today he is neither the Prime Minister nor the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. In fact, he has been reduced to a small and insignificant regional leader.
Then there are the Badals. The Shiromani Akali Dal is a dynastic party. That is a feature Prime Minister Modi despises about political parties in India. Nonetheless, he and the BJP treated the Akali Dal like a brother. What did the Badals do in return? They quit the NDA thinking they could cash from the “farmers’ protest” and win Punjab easily. Today, none of them are members of the Punjab Assembly and are all sitting at home. From being a family of MPs and MLAs, the Badal clan has been turned into an insignificant cabal.
In 2014, Upendra Kushwaha’s party, the RLSP gave support to the BJP in Bihar right after Nitish Kumar called it quits from the NDA. Khushwaha’s RLSP contested on three Lok Sabha seats of Bihar and was successful in winning all of them with the BJP’s backing.
He was made a union minister by PM Modi with just three MPs. However, he broke the alliance with BJP in 2019 demanding more seats. Later, he lost his own seat and now has to merge his party with the JD(U).
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu had a good chance of becoming the chief minister of Punjab. It is his dream job. He wants the CM post for himself, at least once. He would have been at the helm of affairs in Punjab had he been patient. Instead, he jumped ship to Congress.
The Congress implemented this strategy in Punjab only to oust Captain Amarinder Singh from the chief minister’s post. Subsequently, Sidhu was side-lined. He was denied the party’s chief ministerial nomination, and now, has been sacked by Sonia Gandhi as the Punjab Congress chief.
Sidhu is now a nobody in Punjab politics. Again, had he remained with the BJP, his political career would have been far from over right now.
OP Rajbhar and Swami Prasad Maurya
Om Prakash Rajbhar is the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. He was a minister in Yogi Adityanath’s previous cabinet. He ended up betraying the BJP and is now jobless.
Swami Prasad Maurya was also an important minister in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet until recently. His daughter is a BJP MP. After having betrayed the BJP and joining the Samajwadi Party, Maurya lost his assembly seat. Soon, his daughter will also be denied a ticket by the BJP.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mukesh Sahani campaigned for the BJP in Bihar as a star campaigner. It was from here that he formed a political flair and formed the Vikas Insaan Party (VIP) in 2018 to demand SC reservation for the Nishad community.
He had three MLAs in Bihar but decided to threaten the BJP, claiming that he would withdraw support from the NDA government. He even approached the RJD, but the next day, all his three MLAs joined the BJP. Now, he’s the only leader left in his party. The BJP, meanwhile, has become the largest party in the Bihar Assembly.
A similar fate awaits the Shiv Sena and the Thackerays. They betrayed the BJP and tried to outsmart Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The next Maharashtra assembly elections will see the Shiv Sena getting thrown out of power and being reduced to a non-entity in the state.
The lesson to be learnt is this – never earn the wrath of Prime Minister Modi. Nobody has been able to recover after being politically undone by Modi’s BJP.