name='verify-cj'/> चलते चलते: The cracks in BJP


चलते चलते कुछ सुनिए और कुछ सुना जाइए।

Monday, 31 August, 2009

The cracks in BJP

The party with a difference has recently become the party with many differences. The last two weeks have been tough for the country's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The saffron group organised the Chintan Baithak on 10 August in Shimla to discuss the reasons behind its debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. However, the djin of Jinnah largely marred the three-day summit.
The timing could not have been more appropriate for the party's senior leader Jaswant Singh to release his book on the father of Pakistan. The Baithak made it easier for the BJP's top brass to meet over the issue and expel their senior colleague.
What followed this decision was a series of interviews by Mr Singh to bring further embarrassment to the party. He alleged the party leaders of being ignorant of the country's history.
Mr Singh's outburst has earned him some sympathy from party members including Arun Shourie. Mr Shourie openly challenged the BJP leadership and called them incapable of running the party.
Before the BJP could repond to these allegations, two former chief ministers also joined the rebel bandwagon. Bhuvan Chand Khanduri, former chief minister of Uttarakhand, and Rajastan's ex-chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia have sounded the rebel bugle.
Many say that the party is missing its patriach and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The party has many decision-makers, resulting in many aspirations.
This is the root cause of the saffron brigade's recent woes. Mr Vajpayee has retired from active politicis leaving a void which the party is finding difficult to fill. The party fought the general elections under the leadership of second-in-command L K Advani.
The BJP's defeat was a major setback for Mr Advani and many believe that he is still reeling under the shock and has been unable to control the rebellion. The party clearly lacks a central authority like Mr Vajpayee.
Mr Advani could have overseen decision-making from the outside had he resigned with the responsibilty of the poll defeat. He might have also earned the respect of his partymen and the common people.
Unlike the party's slain leader Pramod Mahajn who had resigned from party positions after the BJP could not retain power in the 2004 elections, not even one leader stepped down this time.
The flip-flop by Mr Advani on the Kandahar issue has also marred his image. He has been accused of lying to the nation by claiming that he was ignorant of that Mr Singh accompanied captive terrorists to Afghan city in 1999 in exchange for the freedom of 169 passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814.
Former national security advisor Brajesh Misra and former defence minister George Fernandes have refuted the claim saying he was aware of the incident.
Since early this year, the party has lost many of its credible faces. Former finance minister and senior leader Yashwant Sinha has resigned from all party posts. Mr Shourie, Mr Singh, Mr Sinha, Mr Vajpayee and Mr Mahajan were the main architects of the BJP's growth.
The party has grown from just two MPs in 1989 to become the single largest party in 1998.
The absence of these men have now left the party in shambles. Several other leaders have also left the party over the past six years including Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and K N Govindacharya.
The trouble in the BJP's camp is good news for the ruling Congress Party. While the lotus party is struggling to keep it's flock together, the Congress is enjoying the play of power thanks to a weak opposition.
So what makes the Congress stronger than the BJP at the moment? The tale of the two Gandhis can easily answer this question.
Congress' Rahul Gandhi and the BJP's Varun Gandhi arrived on the the country's political platform almost at the same time.
While Rahul is increasingly becoming popular in the country, Varun has been almost isolated due to his Muslim hate speech during the Lok Sabha polls in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. He managed to win the seat but lost credibility as a politician.
However, the BJP has still not made its stand clear on the hate speech issue even after forensic labs confirmed that the voice in the speech was Varun's.
Despite all the odds, one cannot write off BJP. The party has grass-root workers in many states who will continue to work for it.
We as a country need a strong oppostion and if the BJP continues to wallow in its miseries, the country might face one-party domination once again.

No comments: