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Why Advani Should Worry Congress!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Among BJP leaders Mr. LK Advani has always been perceived by the Congress as being most conciliatory. Mr. Advani’s aborted protest over Mr. Narendra Modi’s elevation as head of his party’s campaign committee doubtless gladdened Congress leaders expecting dissidence to weaken the opposition. Their joy could be misplaced. If Mr. Advani and his dozen loyalists in the central leadership were to carry their discomfiture to its logical end and split from the BJP the common perception would be that it would weaken the opposition. Actually a split in the BJP could conceivably destroy the Congress by making it irrelevant.
“Miss Mamata Banerjee has spoken in favour of creating a new Federal Front that might ignore the Congress and BJP. Already interaction has occurred among Miss Jayalalithaa, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Miss Mamata Banerjee and Mr. Nitish Kumar… Together these leaders… account for 227 parliamentary constituencies… others could join. Mr. Sharad Pawar and Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy offer distinct possibilities… Andhra and Maharashtra account for an additional 100 seats making a total of 327…
After this appeared what has happened?
The head of the BJP minority cell in Delhi has resigned stating that he preferred Mr. Advani to Mr. Modi for leading the party. Over half a dozen BJP MLAs in Bihar are poised to defect to Mr. Nitish Kumar’s party. More are reportedly waiting in the wings. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched his poll campaign for the assembly elections by publicly stating that Mr. Advani was the supreme leader of the BJP. Giant posters were put up across the state capital displaying all prominent central leaders of the party with the glaring omission of Mr. Modi. Mr. Shatrugan Sinha echoed Mr. Chouhan to laud Mr. Advani as the tallest BJP leader and successor to Mr. Vajpayee deserving to be the supreme leader of the party.
Why could a split in the BJP conceivably harm the Congress?
If the split leads to a contest between the forces of centralization personified by Mr. Modi and the BJP and the forces of decentralization represented by the Federal Front, it could create nationwide political polarization rendering all other forces irrelevant. This is the natural political polarization in multilingual, multi-religious and sub-continental India. Both impulses for centralization and decentralization are healthy and necessary for India. Their ebb and flow depends upon the given time and situation. If the political agendas and vision documents of the protagonists are imaginative enough, the poll outcome could be a game changer for Indian politics. A contest on this issue could polarize the entire nation through a healthy debate based upon policies and not on a harmful communal divide. If the polarization is deep enough the Congress too could split into factions supporting one side or other. A nationwide realignment of political forces could establish a genuine two party democracy.
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07/30/2013 06:00 AM
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