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A strongly cemented party BJP, versus ‘A la carte’ parties

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer

The ground is set for the parliament elections of 2019. Disparate opposition parties formed an alliance with the sole object of defeating the BJP with a faceless (literally) Prime Ministerial candidate.

In a recent interview (to assess the performance of the NDA-BJP’s four-year rule at the Centre), the Congress stalwart, the formulate master of saffron- terror, Sri Chidambaram admitted to the anchor-journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, when asked who the Prime ministerial candidate of the hotchpotch coalition at the national level would be, his answer was, “I don’t know”. That means the coalition is faceless. Though being a Congressman, he did not name Rahul Gandhi immediately. That sent a signal to the viewers that the weight of the dynasty- successor Rahul Gandhi would not match-up with the weight of the PM Modi.

The parties are so vague of their coalition that they are unable to choose a heavy-weight leader of Prime ministerial material with pan India face that could lead them for 2019 electoral battle. How can these parties with an a la’ carte attitude in many matters make a formidable bid to power?

In fact, the Congress wants to come to power piggyback by propping them all up now. As of today, the aam admi is with the BJP unlike in 2004 as the party effectively brought Antodaya- principle to the fore. That is, it has taken social welfare measures to the last man.

The chances of the BJP’s winnability with 2014- kind of mandate may be bleak. For, in the last parliamentary elections the BJP of Modi was untested. Now since people have savoured it for four-years and have gone through the agni-pareeksha of Demo and hiccups of the GST, the reactions of the people in India are mixed. The PM might have tried with bitter pills to make the economy better later, but the process was thorny.

Anyway, there is one more year for course correction. Besides economic factors, there are political factors that have their share in the electoral market. The mood of the people in the Hindi belt, where the BJP came to saturation point is to be assessed as most of them go for assembly elections in December this year. The northern states are always the deciders as to who will form the government at the Centre in a parliamentary election, since they have the highest number of parliamentary seats.

As far as the South is concerned, right now there are strong winds blowing against the BJP and also PM Modi, especially in Andhra Pradesh. These were ignited by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by holding a victim-card. The BJP delayed to counter the menace. The party did not nip it in the bud. The BJP cadres in Andhra and Telangana are a deadwood to the party. They never seem to take up people’s problems with sufficient passion. They have been conspicuous by their absence in the public sphere all these four-years. Only now on the eve of 2019 elections, this year, they are simply showing up before the public and are waiting for the Modi-magic to rescue. At school level a slow-learner (a dull student in the earlier academic parlance) would wait for teacher to push him to study or learn things. Without the teacher’s aid that slow-student cannot perform. Similarly, in the Telugu states, the Office-bearers of the BJP wait for their bosses to come from Delhi to push them. Unfortunately, these cadres always bask in the glory of Modi, not on their individual work/merit. They never try to help themselves by doing their bit of service. This parasitic attitude sickens the people.

Telangana is a fortress ruled by K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR)-dynasty. KCR has no-holds-barred generosity like that of Karna in Mahabharat! Of Course, a counterfeit Karna! He promises everything to everybody without caring how he delivers. He promised 12% reservations to Muslim-minority by inserting the whole community into Backward Classes (BC) status as the Constitution of India does not permit reservations on religious basis.

During the time of Independence, the Muslims were not backward. Now after 70-years of Independence, they have suddenly become backward in Telangana. What have all these secular governments been doing all the while? The Muslims were the rulers in Nizam once. How could they be equated to backward?  In fact, the Muslim minorities in Telangana or Andhra never agitated for these reservations. Only our secular-rulers promised them, without the Muslims themselves championing the cause. So much so their affection for the minorities. Both in Andhra and Telangana there is a 4% reservation already existing for the Muslims. A writ was filed against it in S.C. to be unconstitutional. Yet, KCR hiked this 4% to 12%. With this change the reservations in Telangana reached to 72% crossing the bar of 50% laid down by the Supreme Court.

So, the CM of Telangana, sent it to the Central Government to add it in the ninth schedule to ratify the hike. Fortunately, the BJP being at the Centre did not include it in the ninth schedule. One good principle with the BJP is, as far as the reservations are concerned, it has stuck to Supreme Court’s stand of not exceeding 50%. Even this Muslim-reservation issue has not been taken up head-on by the local BJP leaders in Telangana. They have no verve. At least borrowing some of the BJP leaders from North, would make things work better in South.

The a la carte parties formed as ‘ONE’ have strong sympathies for minorities and creating special privileges to them in the garb of secularism. They would definitely upturn the picture of India if elected. They would bring-in reservations to Muslims all over the states in India with K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Mamatha Banerjee being a la carte’s powerful components.

Of late, KCR came to know the impact of his promise i.e 12% reservation to Muslims minorities (in fact, the second majorities of India) He is getting aware of that it is not going down well with many in his state. He is trying to change the impression by saying he would give reservation to economically backward OCs also, which is again impossible Constitutionally. In the recently held Mahanadu (an annual conclave of Telugu Desam Party), the Chief Minister, Chandra Babu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh declared that the BJP is the main opposition party for the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh now and not the Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP.

According to Lokesh YSRCP is an irrelevant party and is sustained and supported by the BJP’s supplied oxygen. Now with his statement BJP has acquired the status of the main opposition which it never was. So, coming out of the shadows of TDP, which contained the growth of the BJP so long, is a good step. Now the BJP is in a laudable position. However, the negative, vicious campaigning against the BJP and Modi in the state, Andhra Pradesh, by the TDP will become an uphill task for the BJP to counter. Right now, the propaganda against the saffron party is at a high- decibel.

The BJP has to nullify it at tremendous speed and alacrity.  The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) -Temple issue is becoming murky. Telugu Desam Party is trying to prove that it is more Hindu and more the protector temple properties than the BJP, which is questionable. The BJP has to make some quick moves to gain people’s confidence to make them understand that it is a serious political contender in the state to solve their problems than the TDP. The picture in Telugu speaking states is not so rosy but it is not incorrigible. If the BJP would not set-right its house in the South immediately, particularly in Telugu speaking states, the states would go out of its hands. Of course, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is an old adage.

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer
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