The new BJP strategy
Realising that it made a grave error in agreeing to an understanding with the ruling dispensation over the debate on price rise in Parliament last week, the BJP seems to have suddenly become wiser.
A lot has happened since the debate took place and the Saffron Party looked extremely apologetic in trying to corner the UPA government on the price rise issue. Though some of the top party leaders continue to believe that they were in the right in demanding a debate under rule 184, there are others who are sure that the outcome of the party’s seriousness would have been reflected in a better manner if a no confidence motion was moved.
But in any case, the party has decided to adopt a more aggressive approach, which was evident from its performance both inside and outside the House this week. This review of its approach has become essential due to some important developments that can impact the politics of this country.
The BJP in Karnataka has emerged stronger from the crisis after Yeddyurappa declined to yield ground to the Delhi based coterie and forced his High Command to accept his nominee, Sadananda Gowda following a secret ballot. In doing so, Yeddyurappa who is the unquestioned leader of the Lingayat community in his state has also made an overture towards the Vokaliggas, the other big community by getting a person from that caste as the chief minister. In one stroke, Yeddyurappa has got the two big communities to back his party. It seems that Nitin Gadkari and the RSS both have acknowledged this contribution by the former CM and are happy to see the Saffron Brigade stronger.
The second reason for the BJP’s aggressive approach is that it has come to realise that Anna Hazare was occupying the opposition space and his supporters and the middle classes were rallying behind the Gandhian. The worry for the party was that if it does not do enough, the middle classes, which had abandoned the BJP to opt for Dr Manmohan Singh in 2009, would now go with team Anna. Therefore the August 9 rally by the Youth brigade and the scathing attacks on the government in Parliament are a result of this concern.
Thirdly, the BJP does not know what to make of Sonia Gandhi’s illness. It is not sure any longer if the elections to Lok Sabha will be held in 2014 or much earlier. It therefore wishes to behave like an opposition. It has also been targeting the Prime Minister who had attracted the middle class vote last time. This is being done despite accusations that the BJP was soft towards the Delhi CM whose name has appeared in the CAG report and wants to divert attention towards the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. What was shameful and least expected of the party was that it would shout slogans against Sonia Gandhi in Parliament while she is recuperating and was not present in the House. This is certainly against our tradition and culture.
But the BJP can only pass the litmus test after it resolves its leadership issue and takes a firm decision on who out of the big six will lead the party in the next Lok Sabha poll. Will it be Sushma, Arun, Gadkari, Rajnath, Modi or Murali Manohar Joshi. Or will the party continue to look towards LK Advani for inspiring the youth of this country.