Thursday, February 9, 2023

Political opportunism

Current political scenario in India exhibits a political landscape where the ruling dominant pro-Hindu nationalist party -BJP- has the field all to itself with 303 Lok Sabha MPs or 55.80% of the total number of the house(545) while in the Rajya Sabha, it has pushed its numbers to 92(excluding nominated members) out of the total of 245 members. The BJP’s winning combination of Modi-Shah continue to be the mainstay of the party which has resulted in having its reach spread to where it had no presence. The rise of Narendra Modi from the Gujarat chief ministerial chair to that of the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy within a short period of 14 months on May 2014, as a phenomenon is being studied, analysed and written about across the world but there is more to come. After ensuring its landslide victory first in the general elections in 2014, the BJP under Modi and his able lieutenant union home minister Amit Shah, has repeated the performance in 2019 when the party retained power at the Centre. The BJP under Modi is is now looking to repeat the performance for the third consecutive time in the coming Lok Sabha election scheduled in 2024. The BJP has made huge inroads in states where it barely existed such as in the east and north east region as well as seeking to get a toehold in the south. Modi and Shah are both full time politicians and veteran election campaigners with immense experience in governance. With Modi now larger than life and BJP set to repeat its spectacular wins even by all means both fair and foul, Modi has become the BJP and BJP has become Modi (to paraphrase the ‘Indira is India, India is Indira’ slogan). The policies and decisions of the present BJP government have also attracted much criticism at home and abroad particularly with regard to attack on freedom of speech, fundamental rights of minority communities and imposing majoritarianism and polarising the nation. More seriously, the Modi government has been accused of misusing central probe agencies to hound political rivals or bring down state governments under non-NDA parties or cause defections. However there seems to be no political party or alliance to check the BJP. The opposition is sharply and hopelessly divided and this has only made the BJP’s mission 350 for 2024 easier. In a bid to highlight communalism, unemployment, hatred, inflation, and political centralisation, Rahul Gandhi is leading the Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari (Septembebr 7,2022) to Sri Nagar (January 20,2023). Congress media spin doctors –Jayram Ramesh and Digvijay Singh- maintained that the yatra is apolitical and purely to bring together people on the issues stated above. However this is riddled with many paradoxes since it is unfolding as Rahul’s show and meant to bolster his image in a subtle manner, as Supreme Congress leader and also claimant as leader of an opposition alliance. Many regional parties today consider the Rahul-led Congress as a pariah for the sole reason that the party unable to win elections, leaders with oversized egos, living in past glories and cannot keep its own flock together in times of crisis. Also, time and again, whenever Rahul opens his mouth, he only invites ridicule and causes embarrassment to his party. Even as the Jodo Yatra enters UP, all opposition parties have said they will not join it. That is why Modi and the BJP are assured that the Congress eventually ends up helping them.

Must Read