Monday 3 December 2012

BJP’s Power Struggle

Is BJP on the decline? Do you think the BJP has the capability to recover from its current crisis? Who would be the best bet to lead the BJP back to power? These are questions being raised by many ardent BJP supporters. Whispers of discontent are now getting louder by the day.

Tremors within the BJP, including the  controversy surrounding Nitin Gadkari and his Purti Group, the suspension of Ram Jethmalini and the battle for the top slot. BS Yeddyurappa quitting BJP and vowing never to return for being betrayed by the party is a big blow to BJP where chances of retuning to power in Karnataka are very slim. Now Sushma Swaraj once herself a claimant, endorsing Narendra Modi for PM and Rajnath Singh making statement of second term for Nitin Gadkari, all seem to point something is very wrong in the party, a power struggle or almost on the verge of collapse.

Many already feel the principal opposition party is on the decline. To add to the confusion, the tussle between the RSS and Delhi Durbar, led by Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and others are regularly in the news. Will Nitin Gadkari get the second term is a million dollar question? Day-by-day his chances are getting slimmer. And I he does get – god save the BJP.

LK Advani stated, ‘Good governance comes when you are in power and when out of power, you should be able to give clean politics. Clean politics is the touchstone by which people judge the leaders in a democracy. The BJP would not compromise on this virtue.’ LK Advani’s great ambition to become the PM is diminishing. However he has little support to fulfill his dream.

Nitin Gadkari defending himself says, ‘There is an attempt to defame us. We are clean. There is no need to fear and we are ready to face any probe. I want to assure you that we have not done anything wrong.’ But he has not been able to convince his own party men who have reacted rather strongly.
Ram Jethmalini in his letter to Nitin Gadkari emphasized, ‘I am convinced that you are firmly set on the path of suicide and you are determined to drag the whole party with you. ‘Vinaas Kaala vipreet buddhi’, is an old maxim.’ He has been supported by other senior leaders a couple of who are vocal.

Yeshwant Sinha added, ‘Whether our party president is guilty or not is not the issue today. The issue is that all of us in public life should be beyond reproach. We have no right to let down the people of India.’ Shatrugan Sinha concurs with Yeshwant Sinha and adds, ‘He (Gadkari) is a friend but a person occupying a responsible post should not only be honest but should also be seen as honest.’

The current scenario in the BJP resembles the squabbles of 2004 and 2009, which happened soon after the party lost the Lok Sabha polls. This time, the internal rift is happening even before the elections raising a host of questions. Have senior BJP leaders fallen prey to ambitions? Are they under the influence of RSS? What happened to the BJP’s high moral ground on all issues making BJP a party with a difference? The party seems to have become intolerant to views and opinions expressed which suggests the non-existence of inner party democracy, which BJP always trumpeted while criticizing the Congress. Apart from this there is a growing feeling of isolation among the generation of aging leaders who feel the party has been hijacked by the new generation of leaders who don’t bother about seniors.

The only hope of revival for the party, BJP must win enough seats to be in reckoning; but looking at the events unfolding it seems to be a tall order with the rejuvenation of the Congress, growing in confidence. Possibly the Aam Admi Party of Arvind Kejriwal too will cause few dents in the BJP camp. Will the Delhi Durbar & RSS sort out the internal rift within the BJP?

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