Even Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s worst critics cannot deny that he has struck a deep chord with the bulk of the Indian people. The public looks up to him as a beacon of hope. Mr. Modi’s public standing therefore is his most precious political asset today. It would be a pity if he were to squander it by acting in a manner no different from previous governments. That is precisely what many of his party colleagues including party president Mr. Amit Shah are advocating.
The issue exercising BJP leaders is of course the future of the Delhi assembly. Should it be dissolved after months of paralyzed suspension? Or should the BJP still try to form a government to avoid a poll? The statements on the subject by the BJP leaders are pathetic because these leaders actually think that the public is stupid enough to swallow their nonsense. Delhi BJP President Mr. Satish Upadhyay says his party welcomes polls. He says his party is committed against horse trading and defections. But if the Lt-Governor invites them he says he will explore all options. What other options apart from horse trading and defection are there?
AAP leader Mr. Arvind Kejriwal petitioned the President to reject any such proposal submitted by the Lt-Governor. He is perfectly logical. The BJP had earlier rejected offer to form the government because it lacked numbers. Both Congress and AAP remain committed against any alliance. What is new for the BJP to change its mind? Mr. Upadhyay’s rational for not ordering elections is that his party waits what the Lt-Governor may say to justify attempt for forming a new government. With four states already going to polls what can Lt-Governor say to deny Delhi a poll? Governors only have responsibility to invite parties for forming stable governments. Governors are not expected to help create stable governments. That would imply political interference and end impartiality.
Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh has ruled out horse-trading to form a Delhi government. But BJP President Mr. Amit Shah says that there is nothing immoral in seeking or accepting support for forming a government. Would such support be without any quid pro quo? If support is based upon ideological affinity the entire Delhi Congress should merge with the BJP. That might be moral. But then would not the Indian National Congress also merge with the BJP? Earlier Congress was A-Team and BJP its B-Team. Now BJP is A-Team and Congress is No-Team. Perhaps BJP and Congress leaders might consider this option.
It is in this scenario that the PM remains silent. He must choose between Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Amit Shah. Hypothetically if BJP lost in the Delhi poll the PM’s personal reputation would not suffer but heighten. He would be perceived as a gracious democrat. If he endorses horse trading it would suffer. He would look like his predecessors. With whom does the Prime Minister want to stand?