Feb 29, 2024
Feb 29, 2024
With smug satisfaction BJP leaders say that elections across India are Modi versus the rest. They bank on Mr. Modi’s popularity and predict a BJP single party majority eventually in all the states as the Nehru era Congress had obtained. It was with that declared goal that the BJP split its 30 year alliance with the Shiv Sena and went alone in the Maharashtra assembly elections. Now results are out. The BJP is nowhere near an absolute majority in Maharashtra but has obtained it in Haryana. Commentators state that it was a great achievement for Mr. Modi to triple BJP number of seats in Maharashtra and win in Haryana. No doubt it is an impressive achievement even though a majority eludes BJP in Maharashtra. But the long term impact of the BJP strategy should be assessed.
The BJP has exposed its aim to demolish existing state parties to emerge as the single power in the centre and all states. Regardless of how the government is formed in Maharashtra every regional party including the Shiv Sena will now start making its own long term plans. The Shiv Sena will know that in future it will either be swallowed by the BJP or get marginalized and discarded. Every regional party will now recognize the threat to its existence by the BJP led by Mr. Modi and Mr. Amit Shah. Mr. Modi’s goal is most welcome. He is recreating a single centralized party across the nation. But there is a flip side to this plan.
There can also be a single decentralized party across the nation. If regional parties have the sense and resolve they can federate to challenge Mr. Modi’s BJP. In place of Modi versus the Rest there can also be the Rest versus Modi. In fact in Maharashtra itself a spectacular start can be made to achieve this goal. If the Shiv Sena, Mr. Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the Congress were to defy the past and forge an alliance they could comfortably form the government in Maharashtra. All that would be needed to accomplish this would be for the Congress to offer the Chief Minister’s post to Mr. Udhav Thackeray communicated through Mr. Sharad Pawar. BJP leaders and media critics would flay this move for being opportunistic. They should be ignored with contempt.
As stated by this writer earlier the logical political polarization in India is not between the Left and the Right or between Communalism and Secularism. It is between centralization and decentralization – both impulses valid and necessary for a multi- lingual, multi-ehtnic continental nation like India. If the Maharashtra parties were to follow this strategy they would not only thwart the BJP in their state. They would lay a solid foundation for challenging the BJP in parliament by creating a single decentralized federation contesting parliamentary elections under one symbol by assimilating all regional parties in the federation. A new federal party constitution and a new policy agenda would be needed. Are these difficult to formulate?
More by : Dr. Rajinder Puri
|In India fractured opposition is possible, but a single federated party is impossible in opposition to BJP led by Narendra Modi. Otherwise if dreams are true every fool will ride.
|It it possible, is it practical when they are fragmented.
|Modi wasn’t that far from absolute majority as you seem to contend. If experts who poured themselves over the figures are to be believed, BJP lost many seats by wafer thin margins, making it look like the most optimistic pre-poll surveys were close to mark.
That all parties (Does that include the naxals and terrorists too!?) should unite against the Modi thrust is a very sinister suggestion least expected from a person reputed to be a seasoned political commentator. It is like saying that all animals of the jungle, like the dying rhinos to the scavenging hyenas, should join hands to combat the mighty lion. There are indeed animals of the genre named above among the disparate and desperate parties who have now been ignominiously thrashed at the hustings by Modi.
There is something in common between the Sena and BJP. The Sena has evolved into the national mainstream under the Hindutwa flag from the irresponsible band they were in their initial anti-Krishna Menon days. They are therefore closest to the BJP. Uddhav has enough brain matter in his head not to ignore this reality even if he is offered the Prime Minister’s job. He knows well that joining hands with parties like the Congress and NCP will take the Sena into instant ruin and make Modi further invincible. Needless, therefore, to conclude that your advice to the anti-Modi desperados to unite against him will sound their death-knell too.
What they need to do now is to be meaningful and convince the people that they indeed are seriously dedicated to the welfare of the nation. Modi’s strength lies in the fact he connects with the masses and impresses his dedication on them. Please therefore advise the other parties to compete with him in that regard and not to form silly opportunistic alliances that are ruinous to the nation as well as themselves. We expect at least that much from a responsible commentator like you.
|Dear Rajendra ji,
A wonderful write. The fact is, in India, we really, really needed a change. We needed to know that the country can have other Leaders who are strong. The big C for Congress gives us allergy now.
So I am happy about BJP, very happy indeed!