Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is BJP falling apart ?

With Atal and Advani on the brink of retirement, a power struggle has started in between the leaders who think that its now their turn to take charge.

Politics can be a cruel game. Those who were not aware would be now after seeing the condition of Ms Uma Bharti. She had everything what we thought was required for a politician to succeed, the support of the general mass, a clean and honest image, but then also she will be counted as one of the many leaders who promised much but could not deliver.

Uma Bharti is regarded as the leader of the lakhs of hardcore Hindus, those who strongly supported Hinduvta, and those for whom the construction of Ram Mandir was a sentimental issue.

Ayodhya has always been a very important issue of the BJP's election manifesto, an issue which it only racks up at the time of election, and later dumps it after the objective of awakening the sentiments of the Hindus is fulfilled. Bharti should be credited for not being a hypocrite or an opportunist by not dumping the issue, one which brought her party to power. At least she is not a typical Indian politician.

She was the one who was accredited for routing the Congress government from Madhya Pradesh, a task which many thought was very difficult, if not impossible.

Uma's turbulent time started when she resigned from her chief ministership over the issue of the foreign citizenship of Sonia Gandhi. The party tried to match the sacrifice of Sonia Gandhi with the sacrifice of Uma relinquishing the CM's chair. The party thought that this would be an appropriate time to project the firebrand lady as a face of BJP, one who sacrificed her CM's chair for national pride. The lady resigned, with a hope that at the appropriate time her rightful place will be returned to her. She was disappointed and Babu Lal Gaur was made the CM.

She was constantly sidelined in the party after she quit the Madhya Pradesh chief ministership, which left her frustrated at the treatment being meted out to her. Then came the famous press conference in which Bharti had a one on one with the LK Advani, as a result of which she was suspended from the party, only to be taken back latter due to pressure from the RSS people.

The nomination of Shivraj Singh Chauhan as the new CM broke the camel's back and the Sadhvi was forced to come out with all what she had built up in the recent years. She revolted and even she must not have been surprised in the context of the Indian politics to see many of those leaders who were considered to be loyal to her, left her and distanced themselves from her.

She has acted very wisely by taking a pad yatra from Bhopal to Ayodhya, a yatra which will remind the people that she is the real BJP, remind the BJP that she still is the old sadhvi. By doing this she will be hoping of steering the sentiments of the general population and thus prove that she is a leader of the people.

If one closely follows the BJP, one will at a point come to the conclusion that the party is falling apart. With Atal and Advani on the brink of retirement, a power struggle has started in between the leaders who think that its now their turn to take charge. The party does have many "politicians" but not many "leaders" to boast of, those who can be shouldered the responsibility of steering the BJP out of trouble. Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh or Sushma Swaraj have their limitations, and they cannot be expected to slip in to the shoes of Atal or Advani. Advani losing the grip has given the opportunity to these people to dictate the functioning of the party.

It's very hard to imagine that this was the same party which was functioning at its prime in the early 2000 and a party that conceived India shining. The "party with a difference" is grappling with the problem of "differences" coming up between its own family. Its main ally in Maharastra, the Shiv Sena is on the path to commit hara-kiri, the scene of Rajasthan is also not good with dissidents making life difficult for the Vasundhra Raje government, and to top it all; Madhya Pradesh. It seems that the problem has just started for the people in saffron.

It will be quite right to say that the BJP has done itself more harm then good while acting under the garb of discipline while suspending her. BJP now faces the danger of its two faced politics of pleasing the Indian and enjoying the Hindu secular votes being exposed.

By curbing the popular leaders they are limiting the base of the BJP among the general mass. Now let's just hope that we don't see Narendra Modi being forced to embark on a similar yatra.

Bharti went to jail for the cause which was dear to the party, sacrificing her chair, but she could not realize there is no sentiment in politics, there is no value in politics. Pity, the young woman who made hundreds of BJP workers to occupy air-conditioned cars and bungalows is now literally on the streets leading to Ayodhya, a place which was once dear to her party president LK Advani too.



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