Saturday, February 14, 2015

Broom Revolution - BJP's loss of face – a tempest in a teacup ??

It took more than 36 hours for a hard nut like Narendra Modi to get back his equanimity as for almost two days he had practically vanished from social networking. There is no denying that the Delhi 2015 verdict left a shocker for him more than to the BJP.
Namo's silence appeared more than eloquent. Modi has been an active netizen and had given unto himself the role of the sole spokesman for him and his entire government since May 2014. Thus it was not without good reason that BJP leaders and union ministers remained clueless for days on how Modi would react to the Delhi mandate details. “The BJP still does not want to face the fact that Modi’s spell has waned,” wrote columnist Kuldip Nayar, of course a renowned apologist for anti-Modi journalism. But even the other school of thought including a few admirers suggested that Modi must own up the responsibility of Delhi disaster and that itself will be the first step to take corrective measures.

As someone who always had high regards for Modi's ability to read people's pulse, I ought to make a frank and a bitter statement: Narendra Modi’s biggest failure was to break the 'Delhi caucus'. The Mandate 2014 was precisely meant for bringing a change. From Arun Jaitley to Ajit Doval....he should have taken care of these table-experts. This is where Namo has let down his admirers.

In this blog site itself I have a link of an interview I had given to Matters India where I spoke highly about Modi's "ability to read the pulse of his people".
But in retrospect if Modi detractors got a golden opportunity to lambaste him and ventilate their 13 year long frustration after AK-67 victory, it is the Prime Minister who ought to be blamed. Of course the part of the blame goes to two of his lieutenants Amit Shah and Jaitley whom he trusted more than they had the merits. 
The anti-corruption movement and strive for clean polity that Denizens had associated with Kejriwal, one-time lieutenant of Anna Hazare, had collapsed in February 2014 when he had resigned. It has no doubt, now eroded with this very aggressive mandate. The AAP vote share was a record 54.3 as against 32.2 of BJP while a modest all time low 9.7 per cent for Congress. The seats tally –unheard off in recent times -  AAP – 67, BJP- 3 and Congress scored a neat ‘zero’. Dalit messiah Mayawati’s BSP too could not open its account.
The Prime Minister’s alleged silence on highly unwarranted episodes like Ghar Wapsi (re-conversion) and attacks on churches had heightened fears of religious intolerance. This alienated Muslims and Christians and on the other hand Kejriwal could expand his middle-class base as Delhiites generally including Hindus thought Modi was getting his priorities changed from ‘people welfare’ in the country to over-emphasis on winning over world leaders like Barack Obama. The negative campaign simply boomeranged and what Modi fail to understand that is perplexing as it is he who benefited the rich dividends of 13-year-long 'negative campaign' against him. Delhi spoils you and absolute dependence on Delhi's "ho jaega" culture can get anyone wrong.
From Jaitley to Ajit Doval, his powerful National Security Adviser, are actually Delhi media's creation. So is Kiran Bedi and also Arvind Kejriwal. And this is more frightening than anything else. In the wake of Delhi drubbing while party circles in BJP headquarter is abuzz about Jaitley's utter failure as poll manager as he mishandled Delhi polls even in 2009; it will be difficult to find real sharp attacking articles against Jaitley in the national press. The reason could be Jaitley's off-the-record briefing club and so we have selective amnesia!! This has happened despite Kirti Azad's powerful words on the first day itself. In this blog itself I had called Doval, 'man of the year - 2015' in a posting on December 17, 2014. (See 
Doval matters in Modi Sarkar

Analysts and political rivals of BJP have their argument to link the Delhi mandate to the Modi regime’s “eloquent silence” on Hindutva agenda and the Prime Minister’s autocratic style of functioning. But they would miss the point that the ‘angry Delhiites’ verdict’ is actually linked to the neo-liberal economic and political forces those have set in. The disparity between rich and poor even in country’s capital is frightening and to top that there is a huge force of middle class who are in hurry to beat the neighbourhood young man and woman around. Along with these, the massive public frustration is only growing against price hikes, corruption and cronyism. Bhendi (Ladyfinger) is Rs 80 and even in the thick of winter cauliflower, which normally comes around Rs 10 per kg, is now Rs 25. "So Modi’s defeat was expected even though I voted for him in Lok Sabha polls,” say house wives in East Delhi.
The 'tiger' in AK-67 is actually a creation of Modi and his mistakes only. 

Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) has attracted poor slum dwellers as well as shaken up the middle-class complacency. AAP has actually hijacked the spirit of BJP’s original slogan ‘a party with a difference’ compelling Delhi voters see it as a catalyst of change. 

In 1990s, if anyone said, "I am with BJP", people knew him as a good-soul neighbour who would come to help anyone in need; sadly for BJP and even RSS, today that man will be considered a "fixer" if not worse ! This is precisely what L K Advani says is Congress-i-karan of BJP. The RSS towering claims on 'man making' do not convince many today. 
On the other hand, the ‘AK-67’ - as the tag stuck Arvind Kejriwal for unprecedented 67 seats win out of 70 in Delhi - has done the right thing to say that the mandate is “scary”. While ‘Congressization’ of BJP is complete with centralized administration offered by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo at both political and governmental levels, especially with the powerful PMO, post-February 7 mandate, AAP reflects the citizens aspirations in more ways than one. “If you are in need of help, we are here”- seems to be the new AAP appeal to all sections of voters.  
Again BJP and the Delhi caucus are to be blamed. In 1990s BJP's media show used to handled well by the likes of K L Sharma and J P Mathur. These leaders handled media well and did not bother much about their own future. Things changed once none other than Advani himself created "paper(read media) tigers" or rather TV-tigers in Pramod Mahajan and even Sushma Swaraj. Arun Jaitley is only a humbler version of the Late Pramod Mahajan, whom ironically Congress leader Santosh Mohandev used to jokingly describe as 'entertainment merchant'. May Mahajan's soul rest in peace!

Jaitley's rise has been phenomenal. He was BJP spokesman during Kargil conflict and after 1999 victory he joined Vajpayee government as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. One has interacted with him from close range and found him useful as he knew well what made news and soon started emulating Pramod Mahajan and "plant stories". Uma Bharti's outburst in 2005 against Advani was actually directed against Mahajan-Jaitley duo. They simply ensured her ouster from the party.  
More than a voluntary well-wisher of Narendra Mod or a fan of Moditva; as someone more keen to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi deliver and live up to the expectations of 2014 mandate; one would like to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi that this 'Delhi caucus' has always let down the mentors. L K Advani was a prime example when his Jinnah's harakiri remarks was never explained properly by BJP spokespersons in Delhi. As BJP chief Advani had asked party spokespersons to explain the 'context' of his remarks on Jinnah. This was never done. If Modi again suffers a electoral catastrophe as Delhi, PM will be surprised to see this Delhi caucus simply vanishing !!
Modi must, therefore, first own up the responsibility of Delhi disaster and then act to deliver --- and that's not possible without breaking the 'Delhi Fort'. Use their talent; don't let them ruin your hard work. (ends) 

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