The Bold Voice of J&K

Defection in congress dividend for BJP

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M.R Lalu

The Congress, the principal opposition of Prime Minister Modi, seems to be paying a crippling price for its past Karmas. It being the largest party to counter the Modi momentum has frequently been pulled by the Prime Minister throughout his preparatory campaigns before the national elections set in. There has been confusion and speculations have been ringing almost sequentially predicting the defection of a battery of leaders who are disgruntled and disengaged with the Congress leadership planning to jump ship before the final calamity of political overturn of the grand old party takes place. Their convoluted motions seeking asylum in the BJP camp clearly force the punditry to declare it the magnanimity of the ruling party though its double standard fails to hide behind its ideological histrionics. Obviously, there are disgraceful defections happening on a daily basis from the Congress and more disgraceful is the way they are sheltered in the saffron camp.
A question significantly runs riot in the minds of the thinking leaders in the ruling and opposition sides alike. They fail to figure out the urgency with which the ideology driven BJP gives shelters to the defectors in its fold. The BJP’s corruption allegations against the opposition leaders get easily evaporated once they take shelter in the saffron camp. With its accurately framed narratives, the BJP keeps waging war against the opposition leaders and dramatically activates the investigating agencies against them. But the ruling party’s political gimmicks turn nasty as it keeps its doors open for the turncoats giving them complete protection and political immunity. The BJP’s ludicrous political bonhomie with the defectors for mere electoral gain has been classically narrated by Anand Ranganathan during a media debate. His satirical accent on the ruling dispensation calls it a Dhobi Ghat wherein all corruption charges against the asylum seekers get washed and purified.
Though the BJP and the Prime Minister go at the opposition hammer and tongs, their integrity while dealing with the real menace of corruption seems doubtful. A spectacular display of ostentatious jubilation on the actions of the government against the corrupt and its drum beating do not resonate without people questioning their real intent. There is always a convulsion of dissatisfaction on its political asylum management giving shelter to all those who chose to jump ships while they had been hunted for corruption charges. And the government and the BJP are seen conveniently hiding their faces behind welfare schemes and spiritual extravaganzas from temple consecration to spiritual scuba diving. To force people to assume that one side is totally clean and the other side is totally corrupt is an outmaneuvered political game. Indeed, there are no guilt free parties in Indian politics. The apex court has meaningfully raised its eyebrows on the wealth amassed by one political party through electoral bonds and squashed it from creating more wealth. So there needs to be justifiable steps taken against corruption and the corrupt. If the Prime Minister and his party are sincere they should not allow the corrupt defectors to find asylum in their camp. Throughout the Modi decade, the opposition failed to establish the corruption charges it brought against his government.
Its welfare projects being monitored and successfully executed, the government under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership created an ambiance of good governance. A section of the electorate is desperate as Modi’s audacious Hindu spiritual campaign is gaining more force. But an overall estimation on his government’s performance is graded high with Modi leading the popularity graph. The Congress is digging its own grave for not being able to comprehend the direction into which the wind is blowing. Its inability to hold its breath of existence is the crisis and Rahul Gandhi seems exacerbating it further. Its leaders who failed to adjust on the sinking ship had ultimately found it regretless and convenient to ensure their survival with the BJP but unfortunately their defection could not cleanse the blurred political perception of the party. Having set out for the second yatra, its leader could not grow beyond caste narratives and the dominant family he belongs to has begun to look fragile while awkwardly slipping its steps. Though speculations on party veteran Kamal Nath’s plan to find space under the saffron umbrella faded, the half capsized Congress ship seems gearing for a complete collapse. The party could somehow strike a deal with Arvind Kejriwal in some states and in Uttar Pradesh; it could stitch a poll alliance with Akhilesh Yadav. Here, the party surrendered as an under-deliverer.
Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive tone in the speech that he made in Uttar Pradesh shows his party’s predicament. He urged people to think hard about caste. “You are being fooled”, he cried. The (in) sensitivity with which the Gandhi scion asked a variety of questions to the crowd depicted his depression before the elections. “Are there any Dalits or other low castes in the judiciary? Are any of you in the media? Do any of you own even one of India’s 200 top companies? Of the civil servant class which rules the country, are any of you among them? Why are you all asleep? You are 73% of the population. What kind of society is this where you don’t make any decisions?” Rahul Gandhi asked the ordinary people who assembled to capture a glimpse of the man who runs his party in real terms at the top. The fourth generation leader from the family dynasty was totally unmindful of the fact that the country was ruled by leaders from his family and party for decades. His questions to the poor illiterate common men assembled there should be answered by his own party. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has given three prime ministers to the country cannot distance itself from the depleting economic backwardness of a large chunk of the country’s population. His speech could be seen as an attempt to fire up emotions among certain sections of the society. But his audacity for the communal flare-up does not hold intellectual resilience to take questions in return.
A clear indication of provocation, his narratives were for the division of the Hindu community. Being harsh on his insensitive and biased stand on the Hindu community, leaders from the INDIA block began to sense the threat of losing ground. There was doubt and suppressed discontent and disagreement as well. This has been the main reason his party was neglected by Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar. Bihar was the first state that has carried out a caste census and Nitish Kumar was its proponent demanding the same across the country. Taking asylum in the saffron camp, Nitish Kumar sensed the direction of the wind. This manufactured caste perception is purely intended to make people believe that the privileged castes are holding key posts and managing the country’s economy. The ultimate aim was to drive certain sections in the Hindu community crazy and aggressive against the government. But Modi has played his cards more intelligently well before this cynicality achieved its purpose. The momentum he created through the temple extravaganza in Ayodhya and his eminently consistent consolidation of the spiritual imaginations of the majority has united the Hindu community beyond caste boundaries.

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