BJP's 'Pressure Cooker'
Well placed sources confirm that dissidence is running through the BJP now like a stream because of the high handed tactics of Modi and his party managers like Amit Shah. This is being kept under cover because of the propaganda that Modi is set to sweep the elections, but the sources admitted that it was now like a pressure cooker that explode without warning. The anger of senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Advani, Lalji Tandon, Sushma Swaraj, Kalraj Mishra has had an impact as these are the founders of the BJP with a fairly strong support base.
BJP president Rajnath Singh who has become the right hand of Modi, and is contesting the elections from Lucknow, is clearly not being able to function as an independent entity. On Monday afternoon he released a new slogan “time for change, time for BJP” and just as the media began speculating about a direction shift from the individual to the party, too a U turn within minutes to change the slogan to “bahut hui mehngai ki maar, abki baar Modi sarkar.”
Senior BJP leaders are worried about the shift in focus from the party to the personality, that has become more intense into the elections. The Shankarchara of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati raised objections to the distortion of the traditional ‘har har Mahadev’ chant into the ‘har har Modi’ slogan by the BJP. Political parties have also objected and taken the matter to the Election Commission. This worry within the BJP has been further compounded by the practical play out of the personality cult whereby only Modi’s will prevails, with the old guard being gradually purged from within the party.
Modi’s one above all other aims is to win the elections at any cost. Alliances are being struck that have alienated state units of the BJP, and questionable individuals given tickets for the polls. Two of the BJP leaders accused of instigating the Muzaffarnagar violence have been given tickets for the Lok Sabha polls. Hukum Singh and Sangeet Som who was accused of uploading a fake video on the social media that instigated mob attacks on the minorities were honoured and given Lok Sabha tickets at a Modi rally.
More recently Pramod Muthalik who was responsible for an ugly attack on girls at a Mangalore pub was brought in to contest the elections but the decision was revoked following a major outcry across the country. However despite Sushma Swaraj’s objections CM Yeddyurappa is back in the BJP. As the sources said Modi has decided to bring in any and everyone into the party who can deliver the votes, regardless of the charges against him. Interestingly the RSS that had made a fetish against corruption has been silent about the decision to bring Yeddyurappa into the BJP fold.
Alliances too, under Modi, do not need to be particularly in tune with the BJPs ideology so long as these help deliver votes. In Tamil Nadu the BJP has allied with many of the one leader parties including the MDMK under Vaiko who has always made his support for the LTTE clear. After the alliance Vaiko has reiterated his party’s commitment to remove the ban on the LTTE, and to work towards a referendum in Sri Lanka for a separate Eelam.
Many in the BJP who till not so ago were singing the praises of Narendra Modi have stopped now for a reality check. A senior party leader in Lucknow when asked about his views now paused and said, “well, Modi is certainly not Vajpayee.”
This article first appeared at: thecitizen.in.