One Year Political Report Card
of UPA and BJP
The ruling Congress (UPA) Government recently released its one year report card after having assumed office last year about this time. Notwithstanding the delusionary self-congratulatory report card issued publicly the fact is that the vast majority of Indians have judged its one year governance as a failure in all fields. The “Aam Admi” who has been the target of Congress votes feels terribly let down by the economic failure of the Congress Government to arrest prices. Comparatively the BJP as the principal political Opposition Party too has failed miserably in not cashing in on this widespread public dissatisfaction with the Congress Government. Political opportunities lie on the platter for the BJP to turn it into a wave against the Government but the BJP High Command is beset with deplorable inertia.
The BJP still seems not to have learnt political lessons from not having been voted to power for a second time last year. Enough was written on this subject in my Columns last year. Except for one major rally last month in New Delhi the BJP has miserably failed to organize country-wide protests to give vent to the “Aam Admi’s” anger at the Congress Government. This was the time that the BJP’s top rung leadership should have been flitting across the country and made a visible projection to India-at-large that they would always espouse the common Indian’s causes by political mobilization. But that has not happened and it seems that the BJP top brass does not want to move out of the comfort of their air-conditioned residences and shake their political legs.
Even if such a political issue was not available, even then the BJP top rung leaders should have been imbued with a sense of purpose to regain lost electoral ground and make determined inroads into Congress Party stronghold bastions to weaken their hold. The BJP leadership does not realize that the battle for the next General Election which may be four years hence, has to be fought now and not in the run-up of the last six months preceding the General Election. This entails getting out of their air-conditioned ivory towers and roughing it out across India’s towns and countryside and in the process galvanize and jump-start regional and local BJP outfits.
The BJP leaders cannot hope to impress Indian voters by the caliber of their oratorical skills in Parliamentary debates or on English language TV talk-shows. Nor can the BJP hope to unseat the Congress Government by parliamentary manoeuvres like the recent ‘Cut Motion’ which was destined to fail. The time wasted on such moves could have been better used for political outreach to the masses across India.
The BJP openly copying the Congress Prime Minister of being the longest unelected Prime Minister nominates its best political assets by giving them Rajya Sabha nominations instead of making them go through ‘political baptism’ through fighting Lok Sabha elections. In the process the best political talent of the BJP is not exposed to the political battles that it needs to fight in Indian cities and the Indian countryside.
Additionally, the BJP Generation - Next political leaders cannot feel the pulse of the average Indian voter and nor is opportunity available to them to cultivate mass appeal for themselves and also political charisma which is the hallmark of a true political leader.
The BJP will be unable to make its mark in the next General Elections until its High Command and top rung leaders shake off their inertia and embark on the battles for the same now, repeat now. Would someone amongst the BJP admirers care to get this message across to the air-conditioned ivory towers of Ashoka Road?
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Dr. Subhash Kapila
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