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  BJP’s meet: Would it be a calm affair ?  


By: Ganesh Sovani
September 16, 2005
iews expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


Barely twenty four hour to go for BJP’s national executive meet at Chennai on Friday (16th September, 05) and the Khurana episode having been relegated to the backburner, India’s main opposition party seems to be at little ease by now.

The manner in which the entire Khurana matter was initially handled manifested the cross currents existing in the BJP. However, hectic initiative taken by second rung leader like Pramod Mahajan could not only defuse the tension prevailing in the party, but it could also boost the morale of the party workers which was greatly sapped ever since the party lost the power in April 2004 national polls. Precisely for this reason, the media too has acknowledged the crucial role played by management master, Mahajan in the entire controversy which came to be generated after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed his open disapproval to Khurana’s expulsion.

After Jinnah controversy had died down, for the second time in less than three months, the party had to undergo a very precarious situation, when most of it’s cadres were mentally disturbed the situation had come to such a pass talk about possible split or division in the party was once again being hotly debated.

Khurana has definitely got the benefit of doubt, given his past contribution to the party. But it is unlikely that this maverick Delhi politician would remain quite for a long time. True to his own style, he was quick to clarify that he had not apologized over his remarks about party president L.K. Advani, but he had merely expressed regrets oer his remarks.

During the course of Jinnah controversy , the RSS had taken huge initiative in making it’s displeasure over Advani conferring ‘secular’ certificate to the founder of Pakistan, and it was strongly speculated that the originally scheduled Chennai meeting in August would result in Advani’s exist from party’s premiership. Even the stories had appeared in the Indian media, that the RSS had taken a firm assurance from Vajpayee, that he would ensure change of guard in the party within three months, if not more.

Although, the section of Indian media has been agog for quite some time that Chennai meet would result in LK Advani resigning from party’s presidentship, however, it is most unlikely to happen so. On the contrary, Advani might try to re-establish his firm grip over the party.

The moot questions are, where and how does the party proceed from now onwards? What is its game plan? What type of policies it should adopt in order to depict the incumbent UPA government in a bad light? What would be it’s priorities ? What it wants to say about the economic policies adopted by the UPA government, etc.

The common man in the country expects that India’s cadre based organization should not waste it’s energy in trivial or inconsequential issues of Sonia’s foreign origin, her heir apparent, etc., but, it on the country, it should focus on those issues which have direct bearing on India’s security and the peaceful existence of a common man.

One feels that BJP has a good scope to focus on the consequences of repealing POTA, which have resulted in tremendous upsurge of terror and violence related activities all over the country. The terrorism is no longer confined to J&K, or North – East alone, but it has spread it’s tentacles in fifty five districts of India’s’ dozen states. It was the gruesome killing of Congress I MLA on the Independence Day along with seven others, which prompted the AP Chief Minister Rajshekhar Reddy to impose a complete ban on all Naxal outfits, with whom his government had engaged in peaceful negotiations barely an year ago.

Off late, Chattisgarh state, which is under BJP’s rule, has also experienced Naxal menace when thirteen CRPF men were killed when a bus carrying them was blasted with the help of land mine devise.

Given the alarming rise of terror activities in J&K, the BJP is most likely to focus on country’s security scenario, infiltration from Bangladesh and declining law & order practically in every state across the country. It would not be surprising if the party comes down heavily on UPA in general and Congress I in particular for repealing India’s anti – terror law POTA.

One must not forgot that the party is organising its national executive meeting, in a hostile territory, i.e. Tamil Nadu, where the BJP has very little presence. It’s honeymoon, with one time NDA collation partner AIDMK is over. As a matter of fact, it was the complete rout of Jayalalitha’s party in 2004 Parliament polls, which was primarily responsible, for NDA loosing the power, at the Center in addition to deflating of TDP in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP has already announced that it would fight next year’s TN assembly election on it’s own, a venture which is unlikely to yield any beneficiary results for the party. On the other hand, a rapprochement with Jayalalitha would be a better option. However, this option would be strongly resisted by the stalwarts in RSS and VHP, who are considerably enraged after Kanchi seer having been implicated in a murder case by the TN’s incumbent chief minister.

It is quite likely, that new or added responsibilities would be thrust on the second rung leadership of the party, in an attempt to make them more people friendly. Regrettably, majority of the second rung leaders, with the sole exception of Rajnath Singh from UP, none of them has a strong mass base, or a public contact. On the contrary, they have acquired an image as a ‘five star culture’ leaders.

It seems that the party would do it’s level best attempt to enhance it’s chances of winning Bihar assembly polls in tandem with the JD (U), as Laloo’s lantern is considerably fading. Repeated demands made by the LJP’s president Ram Vilas Paswan of ensuring a Muslim chief minister for Bihar are causing substantial cracks to RJD-Congress I combine. A section of the BJP feels that an end to Laloo’s regime in Bihar would ensure a countdown of UPA government at center.

Though the party is unlikely to adopt any an overt ‘pro-Hindu’ stand, only causal mansion of Ram temple in Ayodhya, coupled with a need for a Uniform Civil Code in it’s resolutions would be emphasised to both placate and pacify Nagpur.

All in all, BJP’s Chennai meet would be calm and a peaceful affair, which would mean a big disappoint to the Indian media, which does not spared a single opportunity to magnify, even a minor fissure in the party even on trivial issue as a major crack.

Ganesh Sovani

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