Thursday, October 15, 2009
BJP unravelling rapidly. Is anybody concerned?
The BJP just continues to get sucked deeper into the mire of deceitful and duplicitous faction politics. In the process, it continues to get pushed farther to the margins of national politics.
On Thursday evening what used to be the all-powerful but is now a pitifully emasculated Parliamentary Board of the party met for an emergency meeting after LK Advani and his group sought a rethink of party president Rajnath Singh's decision that Vasundhara Raje must resign as Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly. Rajnath Singh believes she should own up to the party's dismal performance in Rajasthan in the Lok Sabhal election.
It is another matter that not a single central leader of the party has as yet owned up to the party's total, absolute and humiliating rout in the Lok Sabha election. On the contrary, those who fashioned the party's election campaign, which proved to be an unmitigated disaster, have been rewarded. Dilli4 remains as powerful as ever, manipulating every twist and turn in the party's downward spiral.
Vasundhara Raje, who enjoys overwhelming support in the BJP legislature party, has refused to step down as instructed by Rajnath Singh who now finds himself in a minority of one in the parliamentary board. Even the West Bengal unit of the party appears to have cocked a snook at Rajnath Singh.
An unnamed 'senior' BJP leader has been quoted as saying "there are serious differences over the move to oust Vasundhara Raje". It's really now an issue on which Rajnath Singh has virtually no support in the parliamentary board.
At the end of three hours of discussions, the parliamentary board came to the decision that no action is to be initiated at the moment. Instead, status quo will be maintained till Rajasthan Assembly bypolls are over on November 7.
End result: Vasu is smiling; Dilli4 is grinning; Rajnath Singh is smarting. It also reflects on the RSS's say on BJP affairs -- whether it signals dwindling clout or shows confusion is for you to decide.
For all practical purposes, Rajnath Singh is now no more than a lame duck president whose writ doesn't run and whose decisions are being increasingly challenged if not ignored by top, middle and junior leaders in the central and State units of the party. The president's office stands denuded of power and authority.
Conclusion: LK Advani is not going anywhere. Rajnath Singh may have to opt out soon. Dilli4 remains untouched, unchallenged.
Irrespective of Maharashtra Assembly election results (the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance could suffer heavy reverses and losses and be left in the cold yet again)it is likely Nitin Gadkari will be brought in as president. He may want to put together his own team by bringing over young leaders like Manohar Parrikar. Whether he will succeed in doing so or be forced to become putty in Dilli4's hands is anybody's guess at the moment.
Bottom line: More than four months after crushing defeat in Lok Sabha election, BJP's entrenched discredited top leadership, including Dilli4, refuses to wake up to reality. After Thursday's meeting, I find the BJP resembling George Orwell's Animal Farm.
From here to oblivion could be a short journey, unless drastic steps are taken by the RSS. The BJP is fast resembling a tamasha, an embarrassing one at that. A shame and a pity.
The Sangh cannot, indeed must not, wish away its responsibility.