In 2013 as I survey the Indian political scene the most striking point that hits the mind is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to repeat the 2009 blunders and has failed to politically exploit the issues of migovernance and corruption of the ruling Congress Party. The magic, the passion and convictions of a Party that had raised India’s expectations is missing. All because of a paralysed apex level BJP political leaders’ in a self-destruct mode intent on checkmating the rise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the popular choice of emerging as India’s next Prime Minister.
On 6 September 2008 much before the General Elections 2009 in this Column I had observed the following under the heading “Bharatiya Janata Party Lacks Political Passion and Conviction”
“The BJP can hardly expect to win the next General Election (2009) until it breaks out of its Congrssified fossil shell. The BJP leaders need to add vehement political passion and conviction to galvanise the people of India and especially the more than 30% of India’s enlightened middle-class who need to be converted into its natural vote-bank.”
“The BJP needs leaders like Shri Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister who exudes political passion and conviction in his speeches and actions. As I wrote in an earlier Column after Modi’s victory in the last (not the recent one, but the previous one) Assembly elections that the major lesson that emerged from it was that India yearns for strong and resolute political leadership imbued with a sense of Indian nationalism.”
What is the state of the BJP today? The BJP has too many Generals all vying to be Prime Ministerial candidates from Advaniji to Sushma Swaraj and what have you!.
When the media asks as to why is the BJP falling shy of naming its Narendra Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 General Elections, the BJP stalwarts answer that it would be decided by the Parliamentary Board when the election results are out.
If that be so, then why was Advaniji declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate a year in advance. The following observation in my Column of 8 February 2009 entitled “India’s General Elections 2009-Perspectives” much before the 2009 General Elections seems pertinent in retrospect:
“The BJP has declared Shri Lal Krishna Advani as its Prime Ministerial candidate last year (2008) much in advance of the General Elections (2009) possibly as at that time there was a possibility of early elections.”
“However in a reflection of the mood of the country following Mumbai 9/11, leading Indian industrialists at a recent Conclave publicly declared that India needed a Prime Minister like Narendra Modi the BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat.”
The above indicates that the present paralysis at the BJP highest levels is that Advaniji has still not dispensed with his Prime Ministerial ambitions and the likes of Sushma Swaraj, Yashwant Sinha, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, and Uma Bharati are rooting for Advaniji as a possible Prime Minister because he is the “tallest leader in the BJP’.
The above is a serious disconnect with the sentiments of India–at–large and within the BJP cadres that Modi is the logical and natural top job.
Advaniji, it is my earnest entreaty to you is to come out publicly that you are not a Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014. If you don’t, then you are opening yourself to ridicule as the following media excerpt in response to your blog saying that in 2014 there would be a Prime Minister neither belonging to the Congress or the BJP:
“Advani’s analytical exercises betray an excessive eagerness to build political scenarios that could under certain conditions, see himself – or someone whom he anoints – as the Prime Minister of a NDA Government. It is the surest sign that the old warhorse whom many believed that had been put to pasture, still reckons that he is within a shot of at the top job that has thus far eluded him.”
Surely, Advaniji at this critical juncture for the BJP you should rise tall and gracefully retire from active politicking and leave a legacy that you were the other pillar that brought BJP to its present eminence and not as a disruptionist directly or by proxy who stymied the BJP capturing power in New Delhi spearheaded by Narendra Modi – wanted by the country and the BJP cadres.
Disclaimer: I am not a member of the BJP and hence have any axe to grind. If I write with passion on political matters it is because I feel strongly that India today in a troubled security environment needs a Prime Minister in the dynamic mould of Shri Narendra Modi, whom till date I have not had the honour of personally meeting.