Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 17:48:15

BJP: From being untouchable to most sought after party for rebels

Updated: September 21, 2022 12:30 pm

Good afternoon. I, Vishwarupa Rath, welcome you all to the digital media platform of Uday India. Today, I talk about how, once considered to be untouchable, BJP now has become to be the most sought after party for rebels from other parties. And it is substantiated by the fact that former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh merged his party, the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) with the BJP. He joined the party along with his family members.

Against this backdrop it is worthwhile mentioning here that American political scientist Daniel Bell proposed in his seminal collection of essays, The End of Ideology, nearly 60 years ago that grand belief systems, such as anarchism, absolutism, and socialism, are gradually becoming more localised and that new persuasions will emerge over time that are specifically suited for a given country, region, or class. He also emphasised that politics and leaders in the future would be free to amend, alter, or modify policies in response to changing circumstances. This is what is happening in India right now. The BJP, which was termed ‘untouchable’ by most parties in the country, now has most leaders from parties which are ideologically different from the saffron camp.

In the last few years, many prominent Congress leaders have left the party for one reason or the other and joined their main opposite party–BJP. Not only from Congress but many leaders from other parties took shelter under the saffron roof and the list includes Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress and DMK. From Jagdambika Pal to Jyotiraditya Scindia to Shuvendu Adhikari there are host of leaders who have ditched their own party and joined the BJP bandwagon.

Now, how did this transformation happen? BJP party leaders say that strong leadership of Narendra Modi is the reason of this drift. All these leaders have come with a wish to see Narendra Modi as a next Prime Minister of India. While it will be ungrateful to stalwarts like LK Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and others who gave their life to bring BJP to the forefront, there is no denying the fact that this transformation can be entirely attributed to Narendra Damodardas Modi.
The BJP brought about a significant recalibration of the social coalitions that confer political influence in India with its resounding victory in 2014. The BJP rapidly increased its electoral footprint throughout India after the 2014 general election, especially in areas where the party was not previously seen as a viable alternative. Along the process, the party expanded its reach throughout large swaths of the nation. Numerous political experts in India believe the BJP, not the Congress, is the dominating party this time around in the country’s politics as a result of the BJP’s electoral landslide. In 2014, the BJP under Modi, as political scientists argue, suddenly became a party of different meanings for different echelons of Indian society.

To its core constituency, it continued to be a party of Hindutva-for OBCs, it represented a vehicle of political power, a vehicle articulating and absorbing their democratic upsurge. For power-seekers, it was a convenient platform offering the possibility of tactical use of the Hindutva weapon when required. For devout Hindus, it represented the religious assertion of the Hindu religion. For the new and upwardly-mobile lower-middle sections, the party represented new possibilities of economic benefit.

This is the reason why politician of different hues are joining the BJP, to not only further their interests, but also to side with the rising star of Indian politics. While the BJP has emerged as the Indian political system’s singularly influential actor, to remain in that role, the party needs to keep its own cadres from falling out, as many are disappointed with the rising cases of imported leaders.

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