BJP: Many a slip between cup and lip
India’s political scene, viewed from the peephole of the Presidential election, is fluid but one with interesting foreshadowings.
PA Sangma’s self-branding, self-packaging and self-promotion as a candidate for President reinforces his reputation as a first-rank opportunist.
Never quite a tall leader as BJP’s Sushma Swaraj put it, Sangma however has finely exploited the nation’s fractious political formations to rear his head in national politics again. He is not even a regional boss, even though he has ensured his two sons and daughter remain in power.
The Opposition NDA has backed him because they don’t mind backing lame political horses if this helps them put up a symbolic fight against the ruling UPA, whose candidate, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is widely expected to win.
While Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee proved to be the thorn in the UPA’s flesh yet again, the BJP too isn’t fighting fit.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has signalled that he can dump the BJP if Gujarat’s demagogic leader Narendra Modi tries to expand his turf.
BJP, like the larger NDA alliance it represents, stands a divided house. Shiv Sena has broken ranks to support the ruling UPA’s presidential candidate. Surprising. The JD(U), another NDA member, too has done so.
Mamata Banerjee may not be able to dump the liberals and join the conservatives even if she wants to. Or else, the Muslim electorate which helped her wrest power from the Left may decide to make her pay a future electoral price.
The political big picture however cries out for commentary. It is one of political appearances being deceptive. Rocked by crisis after crisis, the UPA appeared, even to a casual observers, weaker than it actually is. The BJP, which appears to be itching for a fight, isn’t quite fighting fit.
And the most abominable proposition amid all of this: Narendra Modi for Prime Minister? This nation deserves better.