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Monday, November 9, 2015

Why BJP Lost In Bihar And The Way Forward

Team Being Cynical
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58 seats out of 243; let me not get started on how bad it looks for a party that is ruling at the centre with a thumping majority and had swept the polls in the same state a year and half back. That is as bad as it gets. No ifs, buts, because, therefore going to justify such horrendous numbers. It’s beyond any critic’s calibre to defend the outcome of the recent Bihar elections. This is simply indefensible. For a change, as a political party, I expect BJP and it’s spokespersons to stand up and admit; we messed it up badly. The defeat is a mirror that is been shown at us which demands deep rooted introspection than finding excuses to showcase how nothing serious has happened. It can’t be business as usual going forward because things are deteriorating at a fast rate for whatever reason it may be and it needs to be arrested at once. No room left to play ostrich and go on banging the same tune to the town. Time is ripe to find what went wrong in Bihar and most important, why it went wrong at the first place.

After Delhi loss I wrote in length on the reasons. I even asked, if the Narendra Modi that I knew is listening to the outcry of loyal BJP supporters. But it seems, either the outcry hasn’t reached the desk of our honourable PM or he simply is too arrogant to listen to people whom I am sure he was listening during his days as the CM of Gujarat. I sincerely hope it reaches him this time around. Mr. Sambit Patra, Mr. Nalin Kohli and Mr. Sudhanshu Trivedi, I know you guys follow this poor blogger. Please do pass this on to Mr. Modi because India needs him for some time, if not in the current form though. So here is my pennyworth (not in any particular order) on why BJP got itself routed in Bihar and a probable way forward.

Fulfil The Commitments:

I know Mr. Modi your commitments during the election campaign were for the five year term that you were asking from the voters. But as I wrote earlier, people need to realize that you are working towards your commitments. Even being a strong BJP supporter I hate to admit, for once, even I feel like being betrayed. Let me repeat – sulking up to world leaders is fine but Barrack Obama or Angela Merkel are not your voters, people back home are. Have you cared for your voters as much as you should have? Does anyone in the establishment, including you think BJP has done justice to the mandate they got? Or at least appear like doing justice? I am afraid, the answer is NO. Tell me, other than rampant high-end corruption, has anything changed in positive direction for the common man since May 2014? Forget about positives, even few things have turned worse. Inflation on paper looks stable but that is far from being the truth. Ask a common man who has to run a household. I always believed the person in Modi knows the ground realities because he is from a more than humble background. But I feel I rushed into my conclusion little quickly. I am forced to recalibrate my earlier beliefs today because now I see an entirely different Narendra Modi. A Narendra Modi who is in a hurry to unlearn everything that he learnt during his CM days of Gujarat. A Narendra Modi who now looks like taking the decisions from the comfort his A/C rooms. Why is it so Mr. Modi? How suddenly a well-connected leader of masses like you turned himself to a seasoned nonchalant average politician of India? Absolute power or you have also started forgetting your voters as every politician does?

So Mr. Modi, the gist is; wake up. Good morning. Listen to your voters and their plight. Rs. 200/- per Kg of Daal may have been decorated to appear as the worst thing happening to India in its history but Rs. 200/- per Kg is still Rs. 200/- per Kg . When our planning commission designates anyone earning Rs 60/- per day is not below poverty line, won’t you think the current price of Daal is little unbearable? Daal is just a single instance. In fact most of the veggie prices have gone through the roof of an average Indian household. You can furnish the names of thousands of hoarders but that is not the solution. That is just a ploy to divert the attention for some time. The 750000 ton of Daal being seized from these hoarders is nothing compared to the production amount. What about the rest? And by the way, Daal being Rs 240/- during Congress rule is no answer to the plight of the people on ground today. You can use this excuse as a political tool to buy some time to fix the rot but you have to fix the problem at the end of it. This regular habit of citing an older crime to defend the present crime is not what people expected from you. That is the habit of Congress party and that is precisely why they were kicked out so savagely. So dear Modi ji, stand up and be counted. It is about time.

Better Media Management:

This is quite appealing to see how a seasoned politician like Modi is failing to manage the media. I have told this thousand times – BJP or for that matter any political party isn’t obliged to answer each of the nonsense that media throws at them. This applies more so in case of BJP. From 2002 it is proven beyond doubt that our media is worse than prostitutes. Being friendly to them will only fuel their vested interest more. The way BJP was allowed to react to every political gibberish of our Media is denting the image of the party and I am sure no one else than Modi knows it better. This is our media that forgets that there is not a single chargesheet filed against Modi anywhere but still he has to be called a criminal while conveniently forgets the chargesheets against Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in National Herald case. So what is that is being achieved by jacking up to such clandestine media? You can’t fight with a pig. Both of you will have shit on your face – but the pig will love it. Have anyone in BJP ever thought, how far this Dadri nonsense would have gone if they have asked their spokespersons to refrain from pig fighting during prime time? I bet the debate wouldn’t have lingered beyond three days. At best BJP could have held a press conference and made things clear – law and order is a state subject and we are not going to interfere in the matter since the UP legislation is competent enough to deal with it. Any further question must be rebutted – has the UP government asked for central government's help? Has the president diluted the state government that the centre must start interfering? Arnav Goswami can show an empty chair for the absent BJP spokesperson for hours but that should be fine. I repeat – BJP is not obliged to answer every nonsense of the opposition, ably fuelled by the media.

Ditto goes with the Award Wapsi farce. For days one spokesperson after another from BJP tried to defend the ruling dispensation as if there is a court case going on. Why defend the government here? What is precisely the crime that needs a defence? Why on earth a ruling party should waste its time in answering idiots? Couldn’t BJP made its stand very clear from day one? Kendriya Sahitya Academy is an independent and autonomous body. The awards were given by the academy, not the government. It is between the academy and the award wapsi jokers to short it out between themselves. As long as the academy doesn’t approach us via our cultural ministry we are not going to even comment, much less interfering or defending the government. Why in the name of Neptune BJP have to say a line more or a line less than this? Just because the media accuses you of everything, as correctly cited by General VK Singh, the government can’t waste its time in defending itself from absolute nonsense? Same is with whatever RSS chaps or their heads say. Mohan Bhagwat is not running the government and that should be made clear to the opposition and our media. It should be clear to the media that, next time you invite us for a debate be sure that the topic falls directly under our purview. Dare you call us to be part of a nonsense; should be the strict warning. Be clear that we are not here to defend any nonsense just because there is a Hindu angle to it; be it Dadri, Award Wapsi, Beef nonsense or anything. When no one asked or expected Congress to answer for the Azad Maidan goons, why on earth BJP should answer for similar fringe elements? Correct this mistake of defending itself when there is no mistake to begin with. The party looks like admitting the nonsense proactively.

Punish The Culprit:

When a convicted criminal like Lalu Yadav wins 80 seats it certainly casts a serious doubt on the collective wisdom of our voters. But call it our irony or flaw in our democracy, this is happening for ages. That can’t be changed, not at least in near future. But what can be changed is that, the said culprits don’t remain unpunished. And this is one of the reasons why people voted Narendra Modi to power. Rampant corruption was a vital reason that forced people to seek for a change. But what has happened in last year and half? Corruption may have come down but what about the corrupt? Now Lalu wins 80 seats and would literally make Nitish Kumar a Manmohan Singh at the state and run a proxy government, still being a convicted criminal. Why hasn’t he been packed behind bars? Criminals like Lalu were given free hand to run amok in both political and public discourse and the result is there for all to see. People voted BJP to power precisely to act against thugs like Lalu. But reasons best known to Modi ji, he preferred to look the other way. Worse even, the PM found time from his busy schedule to attend birthday function of another corrupt individual like Sharad Pawar. Nothing has happened to A Raja or Suresh Kalmadi. Mother-Son are clear culprits in National Herald case but the government of the day is dragging its feet to act. Same is with the coal scam where even the ex PM Dr. Manmohan Singh is among those who were chargesheeted. No one remembers Adarsh scam any more. AugustaWestland is long forgotten. All that the government is busy with is to fix yesteryear crooks like Nehru. Nehru was a culprit and he should be dealt properly but the need of the hour is to deal with the present day thugs first.

Lalu is just an example how criminals bounce back in our politics if they are given a long rope. Lalu should have been languishing behind bars by now but look at that buffoon, he not only is fighting elections but also has become a king maker in the state. Who is to blame Modi ji? People believed your claim to punish the corrupt and voted you but you started prioritizing your efforts everywhere else but fulfilling what you promised. You talked about packing the likes of Lalu at the earliest but look what you have achieved till now. A criminal rises from the ashes and now dictating terms in the state politics as he used to do fifteen years earlier. By the way Bihar voters, while I wish you all the luck, please don’t comeback crying on the bitterness of the Jungle Raz – II.   

Positive Campaign:

We can’t take away religion from our politics. That is perhaps why the so called secular outfits are busy appeasing the minorities. That said only religion can’t win you elections anymore. Along with religion there has to be development and delivery. There are enough numbers and statistics to prove that a minor polarization helps BJP while more polarization actually works against. And dear Modi ji, do you know why? Remember the fighting with pig proverb that I just furnished above? Fighting with a pig needs astounding shamelessness and you need not have to get down there. You can always play with your strength. Learn from the Australian cricket team. Even on a square turner pitch they would play with four fast bowlers because that is their strength. Knowing you and seeing Gujarat developed during your period, it is no doubt that development is your fort, not polarization. And it is the promise of development that won you the 2014 general elections. So why deviate from there? Why people in your party have to resort to communal discourse just to fight with the pigs? Why, I mean why? In Bihar BJP could have taken its development slogan and I am sure it would have returned back triumphant because there are still lot of development need to be done in that state to even meet the basics. Why your focus never went in that direction Modiji? Just because a pig like Lalu started the beef nonsense your team jumped in the shit to wrestle with him? What was the logic there? Or you simply thought to answer Lalu in his own words? Remember again Modiji, it is futile debating with an idiot, more so when that idiot is also a convicted criminal.

And regarding the campaign; why on earth you have to highlight that nothing has happened during last ten years? Did you forget that in most part of that last 10 year you had a joint government in the state? By questioning Nitish Kumar for last 10 years governance you actually end up questioning yourself and turned out to be a fool. You could have easily praised the last 10 years rule and quite rightly so and have told the audience that, in the development of the state your party had an equal role to play. You could have asked the audience if they feel the development would carry on in the event of a dubious figure like Lalu calling the shots. Your target should have been Lalu while you thought to attack Nitish Kumar instead. With all his flaws, Nitish Kumar is still a good leader. His integrity is unquestionable. By questioning his integrity just because he joined hands with a thug like Lalu, you actually disappointed many Bihar voters. Believe me, people in Bihar weren’t too happy with a Lalu – Nitish merger at the beginning and you should have cashed in on that by questioning the real culprit Lalu Yadav. But your advisers seem to have been blown away by logic and might have advised you otherwise. Hope this mistake isn’t repeated again. Personal attack won’t help anymore and you should know it better. For ten years everyone in opposition made nasty personal remarks on you but you kept on rising and as they say rest is history. 
   
Find Local Leaders:

Dear Modiji, you can’t make BJP win every election; you need not have to even. Same goes with Amit Shah. During Delhi debacle also I urged you to stay away from state elections till it is not necessary. The answer to winning states lies with the local leadership not on you. This is applicable more so in states like Bihar where caste plays a vital role. Even if Delhi can be accepted for a reason or two, I am sure there are battery of leaders in Bihar who could have won you the election on any given day. Sushil Modi is a prime example of that. But strangely enough you took it on yourself and Amit Shah to micromanage the state affair which you shouldn’t have done. Sartughan Sinha at present might appear like a turncoat but you can’t ignore everything that he is saying. To be honest there are many takeaways from his outburst. Mr. Sinha after all is elected to the lower house after having people’s mandate. He has a mass following as a politician and a yesteryear successful Bollywood actor. No political party would let such a campaigner stay away from the thick of the things. But strangely enough you and Amit Shah decided otherwise. To top it all, you employed Mr. Sushil Modi to do a guerrilla warfare wherein his role should have been far more pronounced than just defending or propelling one or many things that you and Mr. Shah said during the campaign.

Too much self-exposer also didn’t help. Narendra Modi should come as a surprise, not as a stock. Politics is not off spinning where stock deliveries help you in long run, not Doosras. By exposing yourself too much you took away the surprise factor that should have been with you. It is the local leadership that should have been toiling on day-to-day basis while your appearance should have been a catch phrase. But strangely enough you decided to reverse this. This is precisely why Bahari Vs Bihari phrase caught people’s attention wherein it is even deplorable to think that the PM can be called a Bahari in his own country and still people would buy the nonsense. But people bought this deplorable semantics just because you over exposed yourself. And for God’s sake, Mr. Shah doesn’t belong to every state. Barring states like Gujarat, UP, MP and to extent in Maharashtra, I don’t see Mr. Shah’s utility as a campaigner. Do you know a phrase – ‘Horses for courses’ Modiji? If not then ask reliable people to make you understand. Hope you will find the able hands of Hemant Biswas in managing the election procedure in Assam next time than you and your second-in-command jumping to the ring unnecessarily

Hope Modi ji, this outburst reaches you and quickly at that. Things are slipping and you need to act on them by promising yourself to not over act without any desired provocation and necessity. The PM of the country has far more superior and noteworthy things to do than micromanaging the party affair. Make a boundary between Narendra Modi the PM, Narendra Modi the BJP man and Narendra Modi the RSS pracharak.

And by the way Modiji, we will bounce back and bounce back big time in future elections, including the 2019 general elections.   

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