oppn parties BJP: Playing Haughty Big Brother Does Not Pay

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
BJP: Playing Haughty Big Brother Does Not Pay

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-06-06 17:15:06

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Finally, the BJP has discarded its haughty attitude and acknowledged that the allies are miffed with it. Amit Shah is going to meet Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal leaders to try and bring them around. This was long overdue. The BJP has to realize that being a big pan-India party does not give it a license to ignore the valid demands of allies who have a powerful presence in their home states. Perhaps this realization has dawned after the opposition has managed to unite and defeat the BJP in recent elections. But the allies will also have to keep in mind that the BJP is not going to totally capitulate in the way Congress did in Karnataka. Shah will have to bring them to a middle ground.

The case of Shiv Sena is tricky. Thackeray knows that having the same Hindutva ideology as the base, any quarter given to the BJP in Maharashtra results in the bigger party poaching on its support base. It knows that with time, the BJP is going to reduce it to just some pocket boroughs. For the Sena, opposing the BJP is a fight for its existence. But the Sena also knows that no other big party will forge an alliance with it in Maharashtra. In the absence of an alliance, the Sena will be wiped out in multi-cornered contests. Hence, it has adopted a sulky and defiant attitude. But will this help it? Amit Shah will have to negotiate a deal which keeps the Sena in good humour but does not harm the BJP.

As for the Akalis, they have been discredited for the time being because of the charges of corruption and nepotism during their rule. But public memory is short and the Akalis have displayed time and again that they can bounce back strongly. With AAP’s exuberance in Punjab fizzling out and its vote share reduced to close to NOTA, Punjab will again be a two horse fight. Shah needs to tell the Akalis to undertake a mass contact programme to repair the damage done to their credibility. It is in BJP’s interest to make Akali Dal stronger. Some leeway should be given to the ally to take on Amarinder Singh.

The other allies, like Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan also need to be assuaged. Nitish in particular is a valuable ally and with RJD making a comeback in the bypolls, any whiff of disharmony in the alliance is not going to go down well with the electorate. Further, the BJP should also try and win back Chandrababu Naidu and if that is not possible, it should look into the possibility of tying up with YSR Congress of Jagan Reddy. With Karnataka gone, Andhra Pradesh should now form the basis of its southern strategy. Since the Congress has already decided that it is going to fight the YSR Congress and leave Naidu alone, the BJP should work on Jagan Reddy and bring him on board.

Having realized that it does not always pay to play a haughty big brother, the BJP should go all out to win back the trust of the allies to present a united face before the electorate. With important elections coming up in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the party cannot let things to drift. It will be a test of strategy for Amit Shah who is often referred to as the master strategist. If he fails to pacify the allies, he will lose the right to be called that.