BJP’s woes continue one after another with problems compounding on a daily basis. First it was a case of faltering leadership that fumbled at the Assembly elections in five states soon after the 11/26 carnage. BJP tried to whip up peoples’ sentiments over the issue of terrorism. They failed to convince the people. They lost in three states. Congress gained and maintained its winning spree. That was the writing on the wall and BJP did not read it.
BJP then tried to put up a big show in the 2009 general elections raking up issues of rising prices, nuke deal and a weak prime minister. None but its own leadership hastened its defeat. The biggest villain being Varun Gandhi whose hate speeches followed by Modi’s campaign in UP, forced the Muslim community enblock to rally around the secular parties including Congress in UP and elsewhere in the country. Thus the polarisation process began to the disadvantage of BJP.
While in the midst of the elections, Arun Shourie announced that it would be Narendra Modi, the PM candidate in the 2014 elections and not Advani. This sent a wrong signal to the voters and allies alike. Advani was shocked but did little to salvage his image. He added to the woes of BJP in his campaign when he targetted the soft spoken and gentleman PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, whom he continued to denigrate in public and called him the “Weakest PM” who did everything after getting a nod from Safdar Jug Road, meaning Sonia Gandhi.
This tirade against Dr. Manmohan Singh, proved costly for him as people rejected him and rallied around Congress to cause the greatest upset in the 2009 General Elections, returning Congress and allies with a comfortable majority. Thus the dream of Advani to become the PM ended forcing him to announce that he would not contest the elections in 2014. He later admitted that he did wrong in targetting the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, whose soft image did wonder at the ballot rather than the hawkish image of Advani.
Elections were over and more crisis to follow. Three top leaders of BJP one after another came out with statements against the leadership of the BJP holding them responsible for the defeat of the party. Arun Shourie, Jaswant Singh and Sinha were particularly harsh on rewards given to Advani and Arun Jaitely holding them personally responsible for the drubbing it got in the elections. Jaswant Singh was in particular chided the BJP on the ‘Hindutva’ ideology admitting that he himself was not aware of its meaning. He then went on to praise Jinnah and deplore the role of Nehru and Sardar Patel in the partition of the country in his famous book on Jinnah.
This sent ripples in the party, forcing hasty decision to expel Jaswant Sing, a founder member of the party, from the party. In the meantime Arun Shourie continued to target Advani, while Vasundra Raje refused to resign, making the President Rajnath Singh’s directive a mockery. It was certainly a case of a weak party president.
The BJP crisis did not end with that. The recent high stake Assembly Elections in important states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunalchal Pradesh, saw BJP to its worst defeat. BJP was speechless, Sena was on the defensive unwilling to accept the defeat caused by none but its own cousin Raj Thackery, who put up an impressive show gaining 13 seats in the bargain. This has confirmed that BJP is waning and a spent force, crumbling unable to find a solution to its own internal wrangling. They felt that they missed great managers like Pramod Mahajan.
As if it was not enough, the Reddy brothers in K’nataka have created a crisis forcing top leadership to take a decision on their demands including removal of Yeddyruppa as CM. Both Yeddyruppa and Reddys were camping in New Delhi, while the dissident MLAs are enjoying their stay in a five star hotel in Hydrabad. Reddys are powerful both in terms of money, as they were business magnets as well as in terms of support they enjoy within the party. BJP leadership tried to work out a compromise formula but the Reddys were unrelenting. Make or break the situation for Yeddyruppa govt. The main beneficiary of the ongoing crisis in K’nataka would be Congress and Gowdas.
Where is BJP heading is anybody’s guess. RSS Chief earlier suggested a surgical or chemotherapy treatment to the party to come out of the crisis. Unless something drastic happens in the change of top leadership, BJP is sure to crumble in the days to come. It is therefore essential for the BJP to ensure that they keep the house in order and solve the crisis with an iron hand.
A weak decision to surrender to the Reddys demand would send the wrong signal to other states, where dissidents are emerging within the party. Back Yeddyruppa and throw out the Reddys that would help to build up an image that BJP is a strong party that would not tolerate any kind of blackmail from the dissidents. My only advice to BJP is to face the crisis boldly and take some bold decisions that would send the dissident scurrying for cover.
In the end, what BJP need is a strong leader at the helm, if they are interested in keeping the party afloat as it has become a laughing stock due to the crisis within the party and certainly Rajnath Singh does not fit into the slot. Jai Hind.