Changing dynamics

Narendra Modi first opened at Lucknow national executive of the BJP last June, the plank of federalism and discrimination of states by centre as potent tool to take on the arrogant congress whose dirty tricks department was hell bent on misusing every institution against non congress states and to unite various political parties on a much more cohesive platform than a plain anti-congressism.

This was followed up by Modi’s close friend down south, Jayalalitha in her national development council speech where she alleged that centre was not treateing the states as equal partners  and had reduced the states as glorified municipal corporations.

The thread had slowly picked up. The next drama that saw the expansion of federalism plank across parties was the mid night murder of democracy by congress during the lok pal bill debate in Rajya sabha. Upa partner Mamta revolted in the name of federalism and states rights.

The elections were approaching and the state with maximum possibility of sending non congress non bjp parliamentarians was going to poll. While media decibels grew around the campaign of congress projecting an extraordinary revival led by rahul gandhi, the shrewd regional party bosses were watching it keenly for any trends of revival.

Even as election process was on, a shrewd Chandrababu Naidu revived the almost dead political relevance and media relevance of Arun Nehru. Soon the regional parties came together and protested on NCTC, this time led by Navin patnaik who for long had remained silent even at the height of Posco agitation or the avatar moment of the Delhi Sipahi. Behind the scenes guided by Naidu, arun nehru was working with Nitish, Maya,Mulayam,Mamta,Navin . The old fox Pawar too was not far behind having a meet with Arun nehru

One mustnt forget Naidu’s closeness with Jaya and his campaigning in TN election meet at coimbatore with talk in air of Naidu dialing Jaya to keep her in loop about fast paced developments. All leaders were said to be in direct contact working out the agenda for ensuing parliament session.

While Modi had provided an excellent plank for expansion of  NDA and common ground, the central BJP leadership responsible for taking it forward was slowly being outfoxed by the regional parties as they sensed the weakness of BJP. This was amplified when results came on march  6th.

While key delhi based bjp leaders are hallucinating of NDA plus without deriving right lessons from elections, its allies are making smart moves. The Badal now less dependent on BJP thanks to the fact that BJp lost seats while they gained and with help of independent had majority on their own and with their strategy of fielding Hindu candidates proving highly successful with all of them being returned, the relevance of BJp for akalis for Hindu votes is at reduced level.

This has empowered the Badal to join the game by inviting Mamta and Jaya.  Badal’s are reported to have gone out of way by offering to ferry mamta by sending a special  aircraft.  The Badals have also included the joker card – Abdullahs. That Mamata and the Abdullahs, the secular torchbearers are unmindful of the presence of  Modi show the significance attached to the symbolical message to be sent to BJp and cong. Mulayam too now has openly joined the game and invited not only Mamata but also Jayalalitha.

Jayalalitha by deputing two mps to attend both functions has kept her options open and not openly bit the bullet. That said one cannot discount the possibility of guidance from bjp leadership looking for early poll to get the badals to invite Mamata as we have seen the insipid Jan Chetna yatra failing to take up the vociferous corruption campaign of state BJP leadership against Navin making them a butt of ridicule. But there is every possibility of game going out of hands if BJP shows any signs of weakness.

There have also been two key events at expanding the base of this regional formations. These shrewd bosses are aware that more national parties sink, the more power to their negotiation board room to force the BJP especially to support it post the next general polls. This was behind the talked about attempts by JD(u) in splitting Karnataka BJP by encouraging Yeddyurappa to split away. The significance of word political upheaval in Jay Pandas tweet on the quashing of Fir by Karnataka high court against Yeddy must not be lost.

Baijayant Jay Panda‏ @Panda_Jay

Does this mean more or less political upheaval in Karnataka!? “@ndtv: Just In: High Court quashes case against Yeddyurappa in mining scam”
The bypolls in AP in the telengana region is significant one and can be the next accelerator to the fast changing scenario. If Naidu sees a revival, he will smell blood and make a push. It is another factor that Kishen reddy had led a rousing Tenlenga Poru yatra with sole aim of energizing the party before bypolls. It was a roaring success, with local media reporting the increase in BJP power. BJP had with a very convincing reason announced contesting all seats. A twist in the end, which can only be explained by delhi leadership suddenly saw BJP announce contesting only 1 seat with an unconvincing reason. The jubilant Kishen reddy post this has stopped his twitter participation.
The BJP must not forget the ability of pawar to spring a surprise by forging a regional coalition with sena and mns leaving the BJP and congress in lurch. This move from pawar cannot be ruled out. Nitish too has started making his moves by not even refering to the BJP by name. The Badals too have shown they are not averse to the game.
The first testing ground for this group will be the ensuing presidential election where BJP may be forced to support the choice of this group. The reason seems simple, the delhi BJP seems more focussed on scoring this petty point over the congress. A success here would mean this group may go for the kill soon as almost all members including Mamata, jaya, Nitish, badals,mulayam and navin fresh from the demolition of cong in municipal polls would want polls advanced to reap maximum benefits.
The BJP though strangely seems inclined for early poll when its preparedness leaves much to be desired. As things stand even a peaking performance in states like gujarat,mp,rajasthan and decent performance in karnataka andmaha would leave the BJP with at he maximum 150 seats. This is too tough a proposition and may end up around 130 unless something drastic happens in UP in the LS polls. The NDA is as good as nothing if BJP is less than 150.  When the cong and BJp together land up in the 240-260 category the game is wide open.
While right wing intellegentsia is gung ho of nda plus, fourth front seems to be taking a nice imminent shape.
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The states send a final warning message to BJP

The 5 states have given their verdict and one hopes the victors take forward their respective states growth and help the people of their state achieve their dreams.

Each state has sent a message to their respective stakeholders as well as combined big picture. Punjab has broken the trend of voting out governments and voted back in the Akali-Bjp combine. One of the reasons attributed to the Akalis victory was the much maligned Sukhbir Badal’s and his father and CM- Parkash Badals easy availability. At the same time, among the major reasons why Mayawati lost was said to be her aloofness from the people, cut off from the real feelings of people and fed only by a coterie of party assistants and intelligence officials who tend to say what sounds sweet to the ears of their political masters. She had rarely stepped out of her  office and toured the state to assess the situation and  first handffedback in a vast state like UP.

Move over to Uttarakhand. Despite the huge anti-incumbency thanks to inept administration of Nishank, peoples love for the honest leader and one who was simple and accessible allowed BJP to make a stunning comeback.  While the reason for loss of Khanduri is said to be his predecessor in CM post and and also the sitting constituency MLA to whom Khanduri had entrusted his campaign while touring the state, a popular leader like Khanduri  just cant loose due to some backstabbing. Such leaders should be ideally able to overcome it. But  his opponent was a very popular, former 4 time Mla, who has excellent rapport with locals for his availability. The sitting MLA of BJP too had the same image. With Khanduri hardly able to spend time in the constituency, with the climate reducing his campaign schedules, it helped the opposition as well as backstabbers spread the canard that Khanduri would not be easily available to them. This availability factor and backstabbing helped in Khanduri’s loss and also made the difference between which party rules the state.

Thus one of  overall big message out of the elections is  – be it MLA or CM, they must be easily accessible to the people and  frequently tour the state. Jayalalitha should very well read the message, otherwise the writing is on the wall.

Since most of them discuss the picture for Congress I am not going to discuss the message for Cong. The message for BJP is big and huge.  The dead cells has reached a stage where major surgery is required and fresh cells inserted. Else the voters have clearly sent the message that BJP is heading towards oblivion as a conglomerate of glorified municpal parties or at best glorified regional parties, if I am allowed to extract that famous term of Jayalalitha to centre.

That the delhi leadership of BJP is part of its big problem is known for quite sometime. But the reactions post verdict made it pretty clear that no lessons will be learnt and instead will be brazened out.

When the BJP performed its worst in 2007 UP polls on the back of the most inept and disastrous presidency by UP local man, most people thought this is the rock bottom and from here only growth is possible.  Even in Jan sangh days it hadnt been this worst. But to grow and not to hit further rock bottom, meant corrective measures to be taken. With the same man acting as a hindrance along with coterie responsible for destruction of Kalyan singh to any corrective attempts ,perhaps the result was a foregone conclusion. Not even the result of 2009 awakened the BJP. One expected that when a much touted administrator and man manager in Nitin Gadkari was parachuted to check the Delhi powercentre by Nagpur course correction was on the anvil. This was not to be the case. Nagpur’s much famed hands off policy while exercising its power to select the president of party is as much part of the problem especially given its previous choice proved disastrous.

In Nitin gadkari it had chosen a person who was perceived soft and had no mass base to take on the political and media power of delhi leadership of party. Its here that hands off policy of Nagpur hurt the most. Had it been pulling up its choice every forthnight, this power Gadkari drew from Nagpur would have been sufficient to take on Delhi leadership.

Gadkari in the first 15 months of his leadership failed to be assertive. Unlike Akilesh yadav who saw the message in his wife’s defeat and Sukbhir Badal in the defeat of 2009 and subsequent split in party and family and applied course corrections, Gadkari and BJP failed to pull up their socks.

Once a decision was taken to reinduct Sanjay Joshi it should have been done officially. Once it was decided that Uma would be the face of BJP, her candidature must have been announced  first and declared CM candidate no matter who protested.  Instead not only was there a delay in declaring the list, Uma candidature was announced very late thanks to protests from Delhi, mainly from the disastrous past president. What message was being sent when Gadkari succumbed to protest of a leader not to campaign unless his son was given post who incidentally has done nothing to add to party unlike what Akilesh did. This when party was going all out against dynasty politics. Unfortunately voter expect less out of other parties, while they expect very high standards from BJP. This message has come out in many elections.  Take the choice of state leadership BJP decided post Nitin Gadkari becoming president. Gadkari, Sushma,Advani campaigned for Shahi and his main contender was a Muslim candidate, yet he lost. Thats how uninspiring was the choice of state president made in Apr 2010. The weak base of Gadkari, this blogger believes allowed the pressurizing of him by Delhi power centre’s through the clever manufactured revolt of Munde.

Now move over to Uttarakhand. By last April people were saying unless Khanduri was brought back uttarkhand will be a disaster. Soon  Swapan Dasgupta had tweeted BJP was toying with replacing Nishank very soon. Even news channels quoted this tweet of Swapan Das Gupta. Yet a decision was never taken till very late. Who and what prevented an early decision and there is no accountability on this front. When Khanduri was such towering figure, and towering Thakur leader In Koshiyari there to support him, where was the need to pitchfork Rajnath Singh as leader of UK campaign ? And when it is well-known that unhappy Nishank will attempt sabotage, why was he allowed to remain part of state politics? if a Sripad Naik could be prevented to avoid trouble, why wasnt Nishank kept away? If koshiyari was brought to rajya sabha, why wasnt Nishank who was made a vice president packed off to manipur as incharge? And when it is known that Khanduri has to travel around, why wasnt a safe seat chosen for him? That new entrant in manipur- TMC performed way better than BJP again shows the inept leadership of BJP.

The timely recovery initiated in Punjab is large part thanks to the timely interference of Badals. And Goa out and out belonged to Parikkar. There is nothing to cheer for Delhi leadership or even Nagpur. Time and again karnataka has become a mess thanks only to the deadwood allowed to run rot. Without corrective action many more uttarkhand and rajasthan are bound to happen, and delhi would prove to be another UP come 2013

The entire deadwood in UP, karnataka, and delhi powercentres needs to be removed and some towering figures forced retired as graceful reminders seem to have had no effect. It’s a do or perish situation currently confronting BJP and Nagpur political vision. Nagpur has to do away with hands off approach and become involved more hands on as it doesn’t seem inclined to allow cadres to elect their leader. As Shourie put it a bombardment is needed. Drastic times require extreme actions.

It’s also time action is taken in Bihar and its face Suhsil modi is promoted for next few months before finally breaking away as otherwise Bihar is another orissa in making. While power hungry machinations of Delhi leadership has allowed the nonsensical theory of allies wishes to stay afloat while damaging BJP, that very ally is bad mouthing BJP all over and attempting to break BJP in karnataka. It will be prudent to break away by early  late mid 2012 and allow anti incumbency to set in while working hard, rather than be washed away when ally decides to break away close to 2014 polls to realize PM ambitions through third front dreams. The third front is not punctured as some claim, as Maya has gained votes and given first 2 days of happennings in UP, she looks all set to make a stunning comeback with 30 MP’s in 2014. Also a maya free of the burdens of CM post is dangerous in that she will be a force to reckon in poll bound states before 2014.

Finally one will know if Nagpur has learnt its lesson during the mid march conference coming up. The mesage is project a clean honest, hardworking, easily available candidate for Mp’s or perish. This will be even more important in the 80-100 odd urban seats.  But the biggest message to nagpur from UP,Goa,UK,punjab for 2014 – project a credible, honest proven face  for PM or perish. The choice is obvious.