Painful transition.Besides this transition, the BJP’s Bengaluru meet would seem like the party’s and its ten-month-old government’s report card to itself and to the world.
The BJP has found it difficult to reverse its stand on many issues it took when it was in the opposition. If those measures, crucial to economic reforms, were sell-out to foreign and corporate interests then, how do they serve national interests today?
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally attained its generational change, shedding veteran Lal Krishna Advani who was seen but not heard at its National Executive Meeting held in Bengaluru.Whether he was “not keen” to speak, or was sidelined, allegedly because he would not allow someone to scrutinise what he was likely to say, is now immaterial.
Transition is never easy; it is painful. The Congress, the other big party, has failed to attain what the BJP now has. If reports are to be believed, that is the reason of discord between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and vice-president Rahul, and the cause of his prolonged “leave of absence.” Sonia and the party’s old guard stick to each other, while Rahul is impatient to end the gerontocracy.
Besides this transition, the BJP’s Bengaluru meet would seem like the party’s and its ten-month-old government’s report card to itself and to the world. The mood was set rolling with a claim being the biggest-party-in-the-world, with 8-million plus members bound to cross ten million in near future.It cautiously gloated over the ‘achievement’ of being partner in Jammu and Kashmir’s government, but the defeat in Delhi, right under the nose of Modi Government, and within months of the Lok Sabha polls results, was all but glossed over. All we heard was the response of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: “You can’t succeed all the time.” True.
A question which nobody bothers to answer is that how was this defeat ‘achieved’ despite the campaign by thousands of workers who had been instrumental in bagging all Delhi Lok Sabha seats?
The other un-asked question is the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and other ‘cultural’ arms. Without pointing to where the inspiration comes from, Jaitley admitted to out-of-the-turn talk by “individual leaders” disrupting the government’s agenda and the image. Nobody believes that these individuals are lone rangers.
He talked of the need for ‘clarity’, but his cryptic comment did not yield any.Clarity is, indeed, needed if the party and the government want to tackle the unease among the religious minorities and investors, both domestic and foreign, caused by “individual members” who propagate a regressive agenda. That the growth rate has slowed is no longer a State secret and this agenda has been, partially at least, responsible for it.
Clarity is needed on the entire gamut of issues the Modi Government is required to deal with. Be it land acquisition, insurance or multi-brand retail, the BJP has found it difficult to reverse the stand it took when it was in the opposition. If those measures, crucial to economic reforms, were “sell-out” to foreign and corporate interests then, how do they serve “national interests” today? This has caused a credibility gap that hurts.The saving grace has been that Modi himself appears ‘clear’ on the vexed issues. Like he did on curbs on tobacco compulsions at Bengaluru, he does speak up.The nation would like to see them turned into decisive action–without ‘cultural’ policing.