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BJP must get back to basics

BJP must get back to basics

Author: Deependra Jha
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: June 15, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/182862/BJP-must-get-back-to-basics.html

The BJP leadership is being justly criticised for not having worked hard enough during the last five years when it was in the Opposition and prepare for this year's general election. It's not surprising then that the party has not only lost the poll but has also failed to improve its 2004 tally and has been reduced to 116 seats in the present Lok Sabha.

If one were to ask the question where does the BJP stand today, there would be more than one reply. Just as there are more than one reason for the party's poll fiasco.

Still, no one seems to have the guts to come out and say, "Yes, we have performed badly and lost. We cannot undo the results this time but we will make sure next time we have the numbers and we shall form the Government." This statement should have come from the top, and not from functionaries.

But no. So long as some BJP leaders can use the party to safeguard their own electoral fortunes, no one gives a damn. Many of the party's leaders have no idea what the BJP's ideology stands for and to what extent they can take it forward to make the party's success even bigger than what Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr LK Advani did.

As they say, naam ka daam kab tak? So, we have this summer's results.

The writing on the wall is clear. The BJP has failed to retain its base, forget about improving its tally. And more importantly, this is the second time in a row that the party has faltered so badly and the projections of the BJP's top brass have proved to be unfounded. In 2004, 'India Shining' bombed as a slogan. This time the party's slogan didn't click.

The next general election in 2014, it appears almost certain, will be a contest between Mr Rahul Gandhi and whoever from the BJP. And the ground for the young Gandhi is being prepared in a way that it may look like a 'no-Oppostion show'. This is discounting any dramatic change in the Congress's strategy. The formation of the present Cabinet and the Congress's extra stress on 'governnce' indicate this.

In these circumstances, what is expected from the BJP's top leaders is to show that theirs is a party with a difference. How they do this is entirely for them to decide. And if they do so, it remains to be seen when. One can only hope that it happens before the 2014 general election. Five years is not a very long time.

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