BJP’s Options: What are they?
Learn Lessons, Deliver on Promises
Or Turn Belligerent and Chaotic
New Indian Express Editorial, Nov.9/15
(“Bright, brief and begone” are said to be the three traits of a good speech. That can be said of this Indian Express Editorial. The tone of the editorial shows, it comes from a real well wisher of the ruling party, which happens to be the BJP. Problems ailing this party that came with the promise of Ache Din for the whole of India is bringing down on itself Bure din, tragic defeats of Himalayan proportions starting from Delhi defeat. To save itself from being rejected by voters — and people even in a very backward and illiterate state like Bihar are aware,awake and alert to lootings done by parties and politicians and so have proved it by the way they voted out Modi parivar – it needs instant course correction by the top brass, more precisely by Modi and Amith sha. One has to wait and see if the party will take advises in the right spirit. If they don’t do, one can only wish better luck to Nitish to be roped in to become the next PM of India. Now the regional parties have seen what is the easy way to rout BJP in the forthcoming state elections. To the extend they are humble, service minded to the poor, they will all go for coalitions to fight BJP in their states. Perhaps that may turn out to be the better prospect for the whole of India in days to come.Some portions are underlined to help readers to take special note to reflect and digest. james kottoor, editor)
In an election that was pitched as prestigious and more than likely to impact national politics in the days to come, the verdict that came out from Bihar on Sunday has yet again proved that the Indian voter is more than capable of making the right noise at the right time.
For a party that has come to power with a resounding victory at the national level only 18 months ago, the Bihar loss is surely a big jolt. To dismiss it as a state election or one that was won by the Grand Alliance because their caste arithmetic worked better, amounts to simplifying a result that has thrown up many questions to the ruling party and the government. It is not just the defeat but the manner in which the BJP has been ummeled that shows that the voter has not taken kindly to the level of arrogance that has crept in among the ruling party leaders post-2014 triumph.
This result has now more than conveyed that no one is invincible. If Narendra Modi was embraced by the people in the last general elections in the belief that he would push the country forward through his economic agenda, the kind of shift the party brought about in the general discourse since then has only sullied his image. This has obviously resulted in a huge difference between words and deeds, going by the record of the past 18 months.
Not surprisingly, neither Modi’s development plank in the initial phases of the poll campaign, nor the religious twist that some of the BJP leaders gave as the election progressed, fetched the party any dividends. By addressing more than two dozen rallies, the Prime Minister has clearly over-exposed himself, despite such a strategy not having worked in Delhi early this year. While the BJP can take solace from the fact that it now requires a combined Opposition to defeat it, the Bihar verdict will also show the way for the non-BJP entities as they begin to draw up their strategies for the series of state elections scheduled in the near future. Therefore, there is little doubt that it is time for serious introspection for the ruling party.
When the BJP Parliamentary Board meets Monday, the party would do well to allow some frank talk as to why and where things are going wrong. That the party as well as the government needs a rejig is perhaps stating the obvious. The BJP can ill-afford to relegate to the background its senior leaders, who have nurtured the party to this stage over the years, and allow rabble-rousers to take centre stage; from a government perspective, the country needs a Cabinet which has ministers capable of taking decisions, without leaving everything to the PMO.
In one sense, the BJP and the Prime Minister should be happy that the warning has come with considerable time still left for a course correction. The goodwill that Narendra Modi has generated for himself last year is so huge that he should not let even elements within the party to defeat the sense of 2014 mandate.
Since it is clearly not a case of all is lost, there are three ways in which this defeat could be looked at. One, see it as an opportunity to correct the mistakes and get down to the business of delivering what has been promised, including financial package to Bihar and Andhra Pradesh; two, get disillusioned and slide further; and three, become more belligerent in pushing an agenda that has not found favor with the people. We hope that the Prime Minister and his team will pick the first option