By Gladson Dungdung
The Verdict 1 March, 2009
BJP will not project Narendra Modi as Vikash Purush (Hero of development), which would be the suicidal for Advani’s political carrier.
The biggest festival of the Indian democracy is at the door. The political parties are all set to woo the voters. But the final fight is between the Congress and the BJP. Surprisingly, the BJP has gone back to Ram again though it had failed to construct the Ram Temple while it was heading the NDA government at the Centre. Interestingly, the prime minister in waiting L.K. Advani has declared that he will not say “Jai Shree Ram” till the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. Similarly, the BJP was not ready to accept the court’s verdict but now it has declared for constituting a first tract court to resolve the issue if it comes to power.
In these circumstances, one must have to analyze that why the BJP went back to Ram again. The main reason is that the BJP has lost its prime agendas before the general election as the Congress headed UPA government has snatched these with the prompt actions, policies and programmes, which translated as the great achievements for the country. The BJP was in the position to make terrorism, national security and inflation as its prime agendas for the general election. But these agendas are almost snatched by the Congress as it took stringent action against its own three ministers including the Home Minister Shivraj Patel and mobilized the world community against terrorism especially against the Pakistan after the Mumbai attack, which the most Indians love to see. On the other hand, the BJP had completely failed during the terrorists’ attack in the Parliament. The UPA’s prompt action against terrorism has already resulted in Delhi Assembly poll. In this case if the BJP makes the terrorism as its prime agenda then it may lose the voters.
Another overwhelming agenda of the BJP is inflation. There was a hue and cry on inflation during the last Assembly poll in four states – Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatishgarh. The BJP went to the Assembly poll with clear agendas of inflation and terrorism. But unfortunately, it lost Rajasthan and did not gain Delhi too though it had created a huge fear and insecurity through the colourful advertisements on the issues of inflation and terrorism. Now the inflation has come down and the UPA government has taken enough steps to control it by cutting the oil prices, relief in service taxes and many other areas. On the other hand, the inflation is not the issue of the common people as they are accustomed of living with it and the other middle class can cope with it through the sixth pay commission. Therefore the inflation is also not a burning issue now which may not give a good result in the general election.
The BJP also can not come up with the issue of development as its own ruled state the Madhya Pradesh is on the top in the list of “world hunger” in the country. The BJP has only Gujurat to show the voters as a developed state but it has also failed to wipe out the black spot of Godhra communal riots therefore the voters can not forget it. On the other hand, projection of Gujarat model of development means ratifying Narendra Modi’s leadership in the BJP instead of L.K. Advani. The Modi’s development model also works only in the mind of Gujarati voters and obviously, the BJP will not project Narendra Modi as Vikash Purush (Hero of development), which would be the suicidal for Advani’s political carrier. Therefore the BJP is not in a position to face the general election with the agenda of development.
On the other hand, the Congress headed UPA government has numbers of achievements to show the voters which begins from the Right to information Act for every one, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for the poor, Forest Rights Act for Adivasis and other Forest Dweller Communities, welfare schemes for minorities, weaved loan for farmers, Mid-Day-Meal, National Rural Health Mission, Balika Samridhi Yojna, and the list goes on with the Sixth Pay commission for the middle class employee families. Besides, the Indian Railway is booming with the net profit of Rs. 90,000 crore and the country was able to face the recession with prompt actions of the government. In the issues of terrorism and the national security, the Congress has taken a clear stance against terrorism and it has also passed legislation for the national security. The value addition for the Congress is giving 30 percent tickets to youth under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi as the youth brought change in the America, which can have a huge impact in the India’s general election too.
Now the BJP has nothing to woo the voters in the coming general election. Therefore, it has taken a hard decision for raising the issue of Ram Temple once again, which may divide the voters in the communal line as it is easier to mobilized people emotionally in the name of religion. But in that case too the BJP may have to face the election alone as the NDA will not stand unitedly. The NDA alliance partner Chandra Babu Naidu’s Telengu Desham Party has already made it clear that the party will not accept L.K. Advani as the Prime Minister and the Janta Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar has also said that the Ram Temple is not the agenda of the NDA. Therefore the BJP is in a do or die situation. One should not be surprised if the Congress emerged as the biggest party in the next general election and instead of UPA another alliance headed by the Congress take auth at the centre as the people need peace, security and development instead of Ram Temple. In that case, Advani will lose a chance to say Jai Shree Ram forever and might blame his party leaders or lord Ram for it.
Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer based at Ranchi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org