* UP BJP Chief Tells PM He Wants To Quit, Amit Shah In Action Amid Rejig Buzz    * 10 perfect anime series from start to finish     * Biden to push for Supreme Court ethics reform, term limits and amendment to overturn immunity ruling, sources say    * Cash-strapped First Nation spent at least $4.4M on consulting firm controlled by Winnipeg developer    * 'Godfather' of AI pledges $1 million to fix Ontario Science Centre

Master Stroke or an act in desperation

Posted in View Point


Published on January 30, 2015 with No Comments

ViewpointDelhi has never favored Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  BJP failed to wrest power from Congress on three occasions and when it had its best chance, the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ripped off whatever joy BJP could get, due to a hung assembly last year. BJP’s confusion at developing a strong strategy for Delhi gets further reflected by paradroping of former top cop Kiran Bedi as chief ministerial candidate. For many this may appear as a master stroke, but it is an uncalculated gamble.  The gamble may pay off and those who labelled it as a masterstroke may claim to have been proven right. Are the odds favouring such an outcome?

What BJP is trying to present as the strongest option is an action in desperation. BJP got to know itself better at the January 10 rally in Delhi, where despite the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the response was lukewarm. The unshakable Modi factor in Haryana and Maharashtra had taken a dip in Jharkhand, and the scare of not having fulfilled its major promises made during the Lok Sabha polls may corrode its chances, BJP  went on to adopt all possible means. BJP party chief cancelled its rallies in Punjab, started poaching members from Congress and even lesser known members of AAP. When BJP state unit President Satish Upadhyay got embroiled in a controversy after the AAP alleged that he had business links with a Delhi power distribution company, BJP found its rank and party men shaking. BJP’s rapid induction of high-profile faces from other parties, AAP’s Shazia Ilmi and Krishna Tirath, former Union minister in the UPA government — may not bring in much electoral dividends for the party, but it certainly left the cadres of BJP demoralised. Having realised that “Modi factor” may not be able to drive voters to vote for BJP, it became apparent that a real drastic measure will have to be taken. In came Dr.Kiran Bedi with an image and reputation as tough, upright police officer with an assumption that she would give the BJP an edge over its opponents. The joy was short-lived.BJP Delhi unit witnessed its embarrassing moment, when supporters of Delhi BJP president and vice president organised protest, and the leaders had to chip in by stating “these protest were without any instructions from their leaders for whom they were protesting!” BJP is always known as a disciplined party where workers are said to be loyal to the party and not to any individual. There were cases when party leader have quit because of not getting ticket, but workers have always followed the party line. In case of Delhi BJP the same notion is falling apart.

Announcing Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate is a major shift for BJP that contested five state elections in last seven months without announcing a chief ministerial candidate.  Never ever in the history of any political party of India, such a step has been taken that a person who joined a political party was declared its chief ministerial candidate within 48 hours of joining! That’s another indication of a measure of desperation.

With a BJP chief ministerial candidate in place, AAP has changed its strategy overnight, and it went into trapping Kiran Bedi on various issues. Kejriwal challenged Kiran Bedi for an open debate, but she turned it down saying that the debate can take place after the elections, on the floor of the Assembly. AAP was sharp at responding by asking Kiran Bedi on the kind of confidence she has in her party candidate Nupur Sharma fielded against Arvind Kejriwal. Kiran Bedi was supporter of such debates earlier, but now her retract is sending wrong messages. If BJP thinks Kiran Bedi may fall into a trap, Amit Shah should have taken the challenge. He could have said that as party president he was ready to take on AAP chief. Why was he silent? Perhaps BJP knows that it may not have answers to certain questions that AAP may have. AAP is known as a ground level party with facts and figures at its disposal, having obtained it through Right to Information Act.

Kiran Bedi had stood for getting parties under the preview of RTI too, and had propagated, “Parties which won’t fall under the purview of RTI, should not be given any votes.” Voters in Delhi would like to ask her why they should vote for BJP when they are in a fix over her stance over crucial issues.

Kiran Bedi’s immaturity at politics came into focus when she on getting cornered for the front row VIP enclosure seat at Rajpath for the Republic Day parade, commented, “If Arvind Kejriwal is hurt for not being invited, he should join the BJP.” What further fuelled the controversy more was that both former Delhi CMs, Congress’s Sheila Dikshit and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, claimed they were not invited. Isn’t this a common courtesy that is extended despite political differences? Kiran Bedi’s comment only proves BJP’s intent to politicise, even the day that is celebrated by Indians all around the globe without any party affiliations.

Within 10 days of her induction, Kiran Bedi has faltered at crucial issues, BJP’s rank and files are staying away, and it may not be a cake walk for BJP in Delhi.


No Comments

Comments for Master Stroke or an act in desperation are now closed.