The lotus cries, BJP does a self goal – an opinion.
Someone needs to tell the BJP that after you choose to chicken out from a responsibility, you don’t fly and neither do you stand there and cry. You go back home, huddle together and do an introspection. No one is crying with the BJP, whether they call it a foul by AAP or opportunism by AAP, AAP is all about people and people have no time to look at the lotus shedding tears. The need of the hour for the BJP is to wish Delhi a good time ahead, take a step back, disconnect, and adopt a wait-and-watch strategy. The BJP crying foul actually has people asking “Oh! If what AAP has done is a foul, then what BJP has been doing is a serial gang-rape”. They messed up Delhi so badly when they ruled, that they couldn’t get back to power even after three terms were completed by the Congress. Moreover, the BJP is conveniently forgetting that they had lost all the seven seats in the last general elections to the Congress too.
The BJP has only itself to blame for the situation it finds itself in. At first they went wrong in judging the dynamics and potential of AAP and now, after the results were announced, they faltered again by not going ahead and forming a government. It would have been appropriate for them to form the government and lose on the floor of the house. During these six months while running a caretaker government, they could have looked at displaying a new form of governance. The BJP could have gone all out to demonstrate how quickly they usher in the change when they are brought to power. Alas! They missed that opportunity and now they are once again looking at drawing zero in general elections from Delhi.
The BJP has many reasons to worry, a few amongst them have a lot to do with the rise of AAP. The BJP had its script of defeating the Congress/ UPA worked out out cover to cover and they believed that they have taken all the right steps at the right time. Projecting Narendra Modi, so early in the race is an unprecedented step in the Indian political scenario, having taken the same, the BJP was already counting their dividends, till AAP’s Delhi election performance. AAP has declared that they will contest against all national level political leaders irrespective of their party affiliation, this one move, after the humiliating defeat of Shiela Dixit worries them a lot. AAP can ground their major leaders to their respective constituencies, making not-so-powerful seats a tough contest and making safe seats unsafe, to say the least. AAP’s decision to contest from all seats in Gujarat is a worrisome decision for BJP. In their internal calculations BJP would have assumed that they can get 20 out of 26 seats in Gujarat and of course all the seven from Delhi. Without AAP, both looked doable, with AAP both assumptions look a stretch of the imagination and extremely unlikely.
The BJP has had a dream run in the Lok Sabha from 1984 to 1999. Their seats in the lower house increased from 2 in 1984 to 189 in 1999 leading to India’s first non-Congress-lead Government completing a full term and turning in a new chapter in India’s history. Post 1999, things have never been the same for them. In 2004 they came down to 144 seats and lost another 28 seats in 2009. The least the BJP may have been hoping to do in 2014 was to win 189 again, which looks tough at this stage. AAP is definitely not in a position to contest all seats but they can surely contest 100 seats and look at winning 40 out of them.
The BJP is seen as less corrupt when compared to the Congress, but it is more corrupt when compared to AAP, that is not what the party is prepared for. This worry is precisely what is making the BJP make more political blunders; not forming their government and losing on the floor is a costly blunder. It strengthens AAP and demotivates the rank and file of BJP’s fragmented Delhi unit. It burns one of its senior leaders, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The BJP still has time on their side, they have their own government in five states and their allies ruling two states. An exemplary performance with near zero tolerance for corruption in all these states can make a big difference.
A strategy focused on being seen as a mature, non-communal and less corrupt party is a better option for the BJP than wasting time in shedding tears and crying foul. Wake up BJP, wake up!