By: Ganesh Sovani
January 08, 2007
expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer
is at the bottom.
(The author is Advocate at Bombay High Court )
One is amazed by the oft repeated claims made by various leaders of
the BJP, ever since Lal Krishna Advani pushed up his claim a fortnight
ago, as a party’s candidate for the prime ministership when the next
Parliamentary poll takes place in 2009, by equating his position with the
‘leader of the opposition’ under the British Parliamentary system, who is
often regarded as ‘a potential prime ministerial candidate’ should there
is a change over.
As if this was not enough, BJP’s second rung leader Dr. Murali Manohar
Joshi hastened to add that there was no dearth of candidates in the party
for the most coveted post in the country, by virtually pushing up his
stake over it. To compound this scenario, its incumbent president Rajnath
Singh described himself as the ‘bridegroom in waiting’, on the eve of
party’s national executive meeting held at Lucknow, which was nothing but
his ‘show of strength’ exercise !
All this depicts the BJP in a poor light, as it has been relegated to the
fourth position during 2004 polls in Uttar Pradesh, which was once its
power of strength in previous Parliamentary polls.
The BJP is in power on its own in the smaller states like Gujarat,
Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh. Whereas in the states like Bihar, Karnataka
and Orissa where it is in power due to tie up with the regional allies. It
is in very poor shape Maharashtra, where it was in power seven year ago
being an alliance partner of the Shiv Sena. Even as on the date, in the
states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the BJP has no presence at all.
The BJP’s alliance with the JD (U) in Bihar and with JD (S) in Karnataka
periodically develops some fissures, even on petty issues like contents in
history text books, etc.
One can’t forget the fact the BJP came into power through NDA in 1999,
largely due to its alliance with the TDP and AIDMK and lost the power in
2004 polls, as both TDP and AIDMK were completely decimated in AP and TN
by Congress (I) and DMK respectively.
With such a shrinking of vote bank and dwindling of number of seats in the
Parliament, how can the BJP aspire to come into power, when its allies
like TDP and TMC have already fallen apart and it is a matter of time,
when its one time ‘fire fighter’ George Fernandes snaps up his ties with
the BJP, which had unwarrantedly and undeservingly defended his ‘defence
deals’ during the NDA rule.
As a cadre based and otherwise disciplined party, one had expected the BJP
to play the crucial role of ‘watch dog’ in Parliament and push the
government to the corner on many serious issues, like security, law &
order, electricity shortage, price rise, drought, farmers suicides, etc.
where the UPA government has miserably failed. However, the BJP is
adopting a very recalcitrant attitude in Parliament by engaging in the
disruption of the house and by boycotting the proceedings, which costs
nearly Rs. 16,000 per minute to country’s exchequer.
Its similar approach during the budget session early this year had
resulted in passing of a very important Criminal Procedure Code amendments
bill (having far reaching consequences on the life and liberty of a
citizen), in barely thirty minutes, when the entire day for a serious
debate might not had been enough, especially when it has legal stalwart
like Arun Jaitley at its disposal, albeit in upper house. Due to its
attitude, no serious debate is taking place in either house of the
Parliament and the people are being deprived of knowing, how the
government is tackling serious issues confronted by the country.
Be that as it may, it is highly unlikely that BJP would come into power on
its own, at least for a decade or so, unless the UPA in general and
Congress (I) in particular do something extremely silly, which would
severely cost the nation. Hence, it is high time that the BJP leaders
behave sensibly and give up a futile debate on the prime ministerial
candidate, or else they would all end up in becoming a laughing stock.
Should it try to fan the feelings of the voters in the Hindi heartland by
clamoring for ‘Ram Mandir once again, then it would turn out to be a
self defeating exercise, as a common man is more concerned with the
problem confronted by him daily, rather than with sentimental issues.
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