Advent of New Year in Turbulent times
New Year has dawned and along with it many new hopes and aspirations are simmering on the horizon, Last year has been full of turmoil tensed up with bitterest attacks of opposition on the ruling party and brutal exercise of power by the state. In this process not only development in the the country has been hit but also an environment of uncertainty or disbelief has been perpetuated in entire country.
The year 2018 did show the unexpected and slow return to power of Congress along with its allies. First- Congress, though lost in the election to gain majority in Karnataka, used clever strategy to maneuver a victory by joining with H.D. Dev gowda’s party which represented regional power. A phone call from Sonia Gandhi to Gowda changed the history. In fact Congress used BJP’s strategy to offer Chief Minister’s post to his party although they had more legislators than them and joining the Government under leadership of Kumarswamy, son of Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister. No one expected that a party that ruled and was almost near the power would bend down and join a regional out fit on offering the Chief Minister ship to them in spite of their having less number of legislators. This was most clever move by Sonia Gandhi as otherwise the party was virtually being wiped out from the country. Constant defeats had demoralized the cadres and Rahul himself was not offering any hope. This move was real game changer for the party. Three major facts were realized by the party and based on it the diplomacy was changed. First Congress did realize to some extent that it can’t act high and mighty as it is humbled to 44 seats in the house of 535. It has to join other parties at whatever terms are acceptable. It shed its superiority complex although some critics feel they still harbor the air of superiority. This made them look to other parties and compromise even at the cost of their ideology. This realization is giving birth to mahagathbandhan.
Second thing which Congress realized was that it cannot beat Modi with his incorruptible and clean image. There was nothing against him to defame him. People loved him for his integrity and national outlook. He commanded Hindu votes as he was staunch Hindu though he declared that he would respect others too. This made him most acceptable leader. Congress demolished his fair image by raising the bogey of Rafael although later Supreme Court found nothing to blame Modi yet it continued to beat the drums of corruption, throwing black colour on his clean clothes. So much false dust has been raised against Modi in spite of clean chit given by the highest court that it is difficult to clear the dust . The defence of Government and Modi’s rebuttal did not matchUPA’s relentless repetition of lies. For masses it turned out to be Goebles effect.
Third thing which Congress realized was the strength of Modi in Hindu votes and hope of Ram Temple. Rahul donned sacred thread and declared himself Brahmin to enter all temples. The entire drama was hypocritical yet it impacted on perception of voters. Muslim votes already were with Congress and with this subterfuge they attracted Hindu votes too.
The party won Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where BJP ruled till the current election results threw it out.2019 will now witness bitter and decisive battles. So far Modi Shah duo called the shots and now it was reversed as with clever strategy even Rahul, who was considered commedian could emerge strong last and lead his party, Mahagathbandhan will be another big achievement of coming year if it succeeds.
The game, however, is not lost for BJP as there is still hope to gain power by strategic changes of its campaign and evolving new approach to election management. Why in spite of clean record it is not able to project a right image and make use of its achievements? It is high time that a radical change in campaign and action programme is launched to communicate to masses the achievement as massive
development has been done and the country is stable doing well in international relation and economic achievement. The ghosts of demonetization and the GST‘s need to be buried as country has finally gained and such liberalization of economy could not have been done without much courage and sacrifice. Nevertheless BJP has to outgrow its muscular RSS or Hindu approach to imbibe international tech-savy approach with creation of job opportunities. While Congress will be stitching its tribe to capture power, we have to see how BJP brings new strategy and new vision in New Year.
By Prof. NK Singh
(Prof NK Singh former Chairman International Airports Authority of India)