A divided house is always an invitation for onslaught from rivals. There is no better example to understand this than the waning performances of our national level political parties. The self-destruction mode of Congress, courtesy of endless bickering within the party, is an open secret. Its electoral losses in Uttarakhand and Punjab are some of the recent examples of internal rifts.
But several electoral defeats of BJP in the recent past highlight that the saffron party too is suffering miserably from internal rifts. Apparently, several state units of BJP have reached the brink of becoming a stable for over ambitions, non-cooperative and unaccommodating ‘leaders’.
Brewing personal indifferences leading to warring factions
BJP’s electoral defeat in Himachal Pradesh has set the ball rolling. It has drawn everybody’s attention towards the increasing number of ‘stories’ of internal party rifts in BJP, state after state. Several political analysts, including those close to BJP, have given reasons for the party’s dismal performances.
Premium reason among them being rifts and numerous camps that are working with their isolated aims and goals. For example, the recently concluded election in Himachal Pradesh or the earlier ones in Jharkhand, Delhi, or Rajasthan highlighted the same problem.
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Even during the peak hours of UP, Gujarat and Uttarakhand assembly elections, reports of supposed rifts spread like wildfire. Somehow, these reports have been sharing the possible camps, their flag bearers and doomsday scenarios.
As per these media reports, there is a widespread dissent and infighting in BJP’s state units in Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi and even Kerala.
In Rajasthan, there are camps of Former CM Vasundhara Raje, state unit President Satish Pooniya, Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, reports claim that there are warring factions of incumbent CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Narottam Mishra and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
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In Karnataka, the state units have been making all efforts to strike all the wrong chords, including needless tussle with the senior leader and Former CM BS Yeddyurappa.
In Bihar and Delhi, the situation of BJP state units seems to be a divided house beyond repair. Irrespective of the veracity of these claims, it has kick started a vicious cycle of bad press, and public spat that has resulted in rebellions and erosion of its political capital.
This has also put the incumbent party’s President, JP Nadda, in the dock. He has been caught wanting to douse the possible flames and quell these purported rifts. Furthermore, the losses in his home turf Himachal Pradesh as well as ‘Karmabhumi’ Bihar have strengthened his critics resulting in his authority being questioned and trivialised.
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Why should any credence be paid to these supposed reports?
BJP has a rich history of grooming leaders and accommodating the right people in right jobs according to their calibre. But there was one prominent time, around the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to be precise, when the internal rifts hit the party hard.
Back then, it was claimed that all senior leaders, including Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and the BJP’s co-founder and patron, Lal Krishna Advani, had ambitions for the top post, which could have jeopardised its political prospect had it been not handled properly.
For example, with deliberations and proper channelisation of leadership skills, the BJP’s then President Amit Shah incorporated senior leaders like Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj into ministries worthy of their repute and hardships.
In hindsight, the decision stands vindicated. Similarly, the leaders who made BJP, what it became, were entrusted with the role of providing guidance to the party. For example, Former deputy PM Advani and stalwart Murlimanohar Joshi were incorporated in the Margadarshak Mandal.
Apart from that, the reports of Nitin Gadkari’s discontent were quelled in no time. The then CM-designate Devendra Fadnavis ended all the speculations after seeking guidance from party’s stalwart Gadkari. Since then, he has been taking regular advice and feedback from his senior partyman, Gadkari.
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Barring the Communist parties, the BJP has been the rare breed of political party that has been touting its open spaces for differing opinions and all round deliberations. But it seems that the party’s current leadership, both at the state and national level, has failed to convey the message that differences of opinion shouldn’t lead to infighting. (मतभेद हो सकते हैं मनभेद नहीं ).
The above-mentioned electoral defeats owing to these rifts suggest that it is high time that the BJP, led by PM Modi and its former President Amit Shah, who have prior experience of this, mends ways before going any further down the path of Congress.
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