Is BJP helping the Congress to help itself?



In this season of politics, different parties are playing different games. Non-BJP opposition parties believe that the BJP in Parliament has been hand in glove with the ruling coalition and has always helped the government on crucial issues after registering token protests. On its part, the BJP is waiting patiently and allowing the Congress led UPA government to further lose its credibility by what are seen as measures “that are not going down too well with the people’”. Its strategy is simple, keep the regional players at bay and allow Congress to sink slowly. And if it requires, help the Congress so that regional players do not derive immediate benefits. After all, the BJP has to first emerge as the single largest party in order to do business with others. Containing regional forces is as important as containing the Congress in the final analysis.

The Congress feels that after the Food Security Bill, its chances throughout the country have brightened and it was going to return to power on the strength of its “pro-people legislations’’. Whether that happens, of course, will be seen when the elections take place. The joke for the time being is that after the passage of the Food Security Bill, it is evident that “Food’’ is for the Poor, “Security’’ is for the Congress and the”Bill’’ is for the Tax Payers. All said and done, whether the important legislations passed in this session will get political dividends for the ruling alliance is something, which is in the realm of speculation.

The Food security Bill has been the pet project of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and it is essentially her insistence that has seen it becoming a law. Otherwise, there is no dearth of people within the party who in private conversations have expressed their reservations on this crucial legislation. The tragedy for the government is that corruption scams on one hand and the rising prices on the other over-shadow its good work. The inability of the ruling dispensation to communicate its point of view effectively is one of the reasons this communication gap is widening. To make matters worse, the Congress has appointed spokespersons who are neither conversant with its policies nor with its history. Many of them come out very poorly on TV shows mainly because they have-not done their homework properly and secondly and more importantly because they do not connect with the party workers who have to seek the votes and support when the battle of the ballot takes place. The party therefore must have a relook at its policy regarding spokespersons and bring forward credible and known faces during this election year.

In sharp contrast, the BJP has very vocal and well-prepared spokespersons. On legal and political matters for instance, not many can match the arguments presented by Meenakshi Lekhi or Nirmala Sitharaman . Amongst the new group of Congress spokespersons, Anant Gadgil stands out. His father, V.N.Gadgil was at one time the best spokesperson any party had. He is continuing the family tradition. The Congress would certainly do well if it put some of its best youngsters to participate in TV debates in order to score points and improve its communication ability.

The BJP is in a very upbeat mood and hopes to return to power in the states going to polls later this year and also in Parliament. The regional parties too are doing extremely well and it is going to be post-electoral alliances, which are likely to determine the shape of the next government. The question remains, who will be the next Prime Minister of India. The answer at present is blowing in the wind.

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