The rise and fall of national parties
Act or be dictated by regional players
The politics at the national level is in a flux. It is not entirely the making of the coalition era, which of course has its own share, as the political class will like us to believe. More than that, the onus for the present mess squarely rests on the national political parties. In this case Congress, BJP and to some extent the dwindling phenomena of the Left Block can be described as the villains of the piece. It is simply because these political entities have failed to perform their desired role in the national context that the fragmented regional forces have found space to exert.
Clearly, while discussing the ailments of the national polity, the focus has to be on the party with a difference that is BJP. Never before, in the post-Vajpayee era, the saffron party has been beset with such serious problems as it is now. Whatever is happening it is the BJP leadership’s own making? It is the outcome of fierce power and leadership struggle going on within the party as the NDA’s big brother seems convinced to regain power in 2014 or earlier if a snap poll is held.
The entire gamut of the party’s politics including at the levels of the states ruled by the BJP, has an apparent stamp of the intra-party rivalries being played openly between the camps loyal to the party president Mr Nitin Gadkari and the one opposed to him. The fact of the matter is that the going has become very tough for him, despite backing of the RSS, as non-other but the party patriarch and its senior-most leader Mr L K Advani is heavily pitted against him to keep his (Advani’s) political relevance intact.
A classic example of how these intra-party rivalries are playing in the state politics is the happenings in Karnataka. Once perceived to be the gateway to south for the BJP, the citadel is on the verge of collapse sooner than expected. The party’s ambitious plans to spread its influence to the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have died a premature death. Even if the warring factions in Karnataka close their ranks at this juncture, it will be very difficult for the BJP to retain power in the coming Assembly elections.
It is entirely justified to say that the party with a difference is beset with innumerable differences. Karnataka is the lowest ebb in this ongoing struggle for power in the BJP. The party which used to once mock at the arch-rivals for frequently changing Chief Ministers has ended up adopting the same phenomena in the southern state. Three chief ministers in a span of one year, this is its track-record in Karnataka. How long will the new Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar survive no one knows.
At the national level BJP’s core agenda is corruption to target the Congress-led UPA Government. As part of the well thought off strategy, the BJP think tank, in the absence of any positive and developmental planks, planned to pin-down the Government on this issue. The aggressive and high-voltage campaign unleashed by the party exposing various “ scams” hitting the UPA dispensation, and its pro-active and over-aggressive spokespersons spewing venom where reasoning and argumentation could have been more affective, explains the BJP’s leadership’s single-mindedness to replace the present Government in New Delhi.
The party’s anti-corruption drive against the UPA has been seriously dented not due to any act of diligence either by the Congress or the ruling combine but due to developments in Karnataka where corruption related issues and caste politics has led to serious rumblings in the state unit and Himachal Pradesh where one of the party stalwarts Mr Shanta Kumar has leveled corruption charges against his own party’s government. The ripple effect of these developments is being felt at the party’s central level as well.
Despite the Presidential nomination of former Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee having given an upper hand to the Congress, the party has preferred to remain in its usual reclusive mood and indecision has become the hallmark of both Congress as well as the UPA Government. No doubt that Union Law Minister Mr Salman Khurshid’s recent outbursts raising questions about his own Government and the party leadership amply explains the prevailing mindset in the Congress.
If the party leadership led by Mrs Sonia Gandhi still prefers to remain indecisive and wait for the differences becoming more deep-seated in the rival political parties to accrue the benefits to the grand-old-party, the outcome could be disastrous. The total non-governance, steep inflationary trends and the rampant corruption, combined together, will not be able to counter the existing internal differences within the BJP. Those within the Congress think that the There Is No Alternative (TINA) factor is going to work in their favour in 2014 could be in for a rude shock if the present state of affairs in the UPA Government and the Congress is allowed to perpetuate.
The third wing of the national polity, the Left Grouping led by CPM, is in a state of utter confusion. The CPM has serious organisational issues in West Bengal and Kerala while the CPI has not been able to resurrect itself and prevent total decimation of the party with a history.
Get up and act. This is the warning signal for the Congress and the BJP if the two parties have any inclination left to retain their true national character. Otherwise, more UPA-II type disasters will be on the cards with “compulsions of the coalition” becoming the theme song.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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