The two-day National Executive of BJP that met in New Delhi, which deferred party reorganization and decided to face th next general election under Amit Shah's leadership, ended on Sunday with a clarion call for election campaign.
Reminiscent of the 'India shining' campaign under the leadership of Atal Bihar Vajpayee for the 2004 election, the party decided to project Modi's government as one spreading 'fragrance'. The Executive discussed the strategy to turn BJP into an invincible force so as to win power for another term.
Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, explaining the proceedings of the meeting said that the fragrance of clean governance is blowing all over the country and the charisma of Narendra Modi is its asset, and that with these two the BJP will win the 2019 elections. Amit Shah expressed condidence that in states going to have polls immediately such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Misoram it will win and also it will capture Odisha. His optimism is that based on the Central Government's performance since 2014, it can face the 2019 elections. He blames that the grand alliance attempted by Congress on the opposition front is just a face make-up with a vain hope. He alleged that when the Modi government is trying to make India, the Congress is trying to break India.
News emanating from the national executive - held behind closed doors - and when the next general election is round the corner, gives a picture of its poverty of and resultant jitters rather than of its self-confidence. What emerges from the media as the outcome of the Executive illustrates that other than the bombast that creates a solace of being able to to put dust in people's eyes, it has nothing to call its own. The National Executive is meeting at a time when petrol price has touched RS 86 per liter and the value of INR against the dollar has reached Rs 71. When the growth rate registers a climb even according to official central government agency figures, the factor to be an index of its objectivity, i.e. unemployment, has been increasing from 1% of 2016 to 1.2 % over last year.
Even nothing of what was touted as the goals of demonization could be achieved, and on the contrary it gave a setback to the Indian economy, and popular rage on that score has been intensifying. But even when every citizen got convinced of this, the BJP leadership does not accept it. Although former prime minister and economist Manmohan Singh, and former finance minister P Chidambaram objectively explained many a time the failure of the government in the sphere of governance, the BJP president is still blindly challenging them all. All the factors that Narendra Modi had cited in 2014 as reasons to remove the then government from power, not only do exist now, but have even worsened than that.
But, to realize that nothing is happening in practice beyond the rhetoric in 'man ki baath', it is enough to see the common man's reactions and trolls shared over social media. The government is harming in one way or another, almost all sections of the population including the country's farmers, industrialists, investors, backward castes, minorities, middle class and urbanites. The failure in governance is proving the fact that its work experience covers nothing beyond lecture. Popular anger is fuming against the government across segments starting from ex-servicemen, to Dalits, minorities and finally even to upper castes.
This is well realized by the BJP better than any others. Although it has become a total flop in all spheres, in order to stop these failings from getting exposed, the government in its last lap is concentrating on gagging all counter voices. The ongoing attempt is to silence all voices of dissent, right from the girl student in Tamil Nadu who raised slogans against the government upto the intellectuals and social critics trying to create popular awareness. It is shutting the mouths of opponents using the entire government machinery from CBI to the police. With a grudge against the very term 'Dalit', and by eliminating it, the regime tries to make it appear as though that large majority of the country does not exist. And to cover up all, it is doing all it can to do the only thing it is adept at: polarizing communities. Even though it is not able to save the cow, it is trying to turn Hindus against Muslims in the name of the cow. And the BJP stands invincible in this as it did before. With all this, the party is pinning hopes on holding firm a Fascist order of government and thus capture another term in power.
But now the party is worried that the Congress – and the Opposition in general – will capitalize on the new realization of the people. Amit Shah, who says that the anti-incumbency factor will help BJP in Odisha, is by implication ventillating the concern what the outcome of that factor would be in the states and the Centre where BJP rules. The party is well nigh aware that the stink and stench of its four-year rule cannot be deodorized by applying a perfume of slogans. That is why it is focusing on creating fissures in the Opposition's attempt to consolidate resistance. And if the Congress falters in that, things will become that much easier. In any way, in spite of having got four years of power without much opposition worth the name, finally BJP is in a pathetic situation having to set its eyes on Opposition's failings to win a few votes. And that is the truth betrayed by its National Executive.