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In their fight, have BJP and AAP forgotten who the real enemy is?

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Himanshu Bhatla
Himanshu Bhatla
I am a finance professional working in an international consulting firm based out of Doha, Qatar

In 1980, members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvened to form the BJP – the predecessor Jana Sangh was merged with several parties to form the Janata Party to defeat the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election after the state of emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975.

32 years later, in 2012 another party was formed out of a popular India Against Corruption movement and with an aim to defeat incumbent Congress Party in 2014 state election led by 3 times Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

While it took BJP 19 years to give a first non Congress government at the Centre that completed its full term, AAP targeted just Delhi and was successful in its first attempt.

Both the parties, BJP and AAP, caught the imagination of people and offered an alternative to Congress. Both the parties currently have a charismatic leader in the form of our Prime Minister and Delhi’s Chief Minister who appeals to a set of people/electorate. One leader got applauded for campaigns like Make in India and Stand up India and other got applauded for odd even scheme to decongest Delhi roads. Both leaders connect well with the middle class and people have found their idols in them.

Even after 69 years since our independence, we still have not been able to provide drinking water and electricity to our people, thanks to the Congress led rule of almost 60 years. Now, BJP at the Centre aims for 100% rural electrification by 2018 (http://powermin.nic.in/) and PM’s special interest in renewable/clean energy looks promising to achieve that goal. On the other hand, Delhi’s CM aim of providing water to Delhi’s residents looks like a poll promise being fulfilled. Despite their respective efforts, there are detractors and critiques for both these parties and their leaders but yet no one can question their genuineness and intention to work undeterred.

There is a significant middle class population which is fed up and are against Congress and other regional parties, but still do not align themselves with either BJP or AAP due to various reasons. Therefore, most of the ‘Anti- Congress’ people have become either ‘Pro-BJP or Pro AAP’ but not both and thus the support gets divided.

BJP need to realize that Congress doesn’t need to win 273 seats in next general election, they just need to stop BJP from winning 273 seats. After all, there are not many strong allies left in NDA, and Shiv Sena might also leave them anytime soon. And AAP needs to be clear if they want to form a second, third, or fourth front with Congress at the core and their next litmus test would be Punjab assembly elections where a fractured mandate could make their position clear.

Therefore, some questions will have to be answered from both sides – Why BJP is ready to enter into any alliance or wants to induct rebel MLAs or tainted politicians and why AAP have to support Mamta in Bengal, convicted politician like Lalu in Bihar who is even barred from contesting elections and Kanhaiya Kumar in JNU.

Both BJP and AAP should ask a real question to themselves on who is the real enemy? Is it AAP and BJP respectively who have some genuine intention to develop this nation or Congress who after 60 years in power could not even provide basic amenities and have divided people in the name of appeasement politics. After all, even NDA -1 from 1999-2004 took India to the path of development, the benefits of which were reaped by UPA-1 for a long time.

Due to this animosity between BJP and AAP, it has now become the compulsion to oppose each other. Both BJP and AAP are doing some great work but spending more energy and efforts in mudslinging and to malign each other.

Have both these parties forgotten the very reason they were formed and how people have trusted them to deliver growth and development for this nation. Is it AAP Vs BJP or is it corruption Vs Anti corruption, Development Vs Non development, Nationalism Vs Anti Nationalism, Non appeasement Vs Appeasement?

Why can’t both parties work together to fight common enemy in the form of corruption and poverty and form a formidable partnership like Tendulkar and Sehwag, who set numerous records together and took Indian team to glory and were obviously a delight to watch.

This might be a contrarian view but definitely worth giving a serious thought about it!!!

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Himanshu Bhatla
Himanshu Bhatla
I am a finance professional working in an international consulting firm based out of Doha, Qatar
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