The party is at a crucial juncture where it is winning old allies back.
The Bhartiya Janata Party is on a positive footing after a long time. It has played its cards well till now and it is hoped that the party will continue to do the right things at the right time in order to remain on top. In other words, it is not expected to repeat 2009 where people used to think that the party lacks leadership and consensus among its leaders.
The aura of party’s prime ministerial candidate is so that it has covered all that was lacking in the party. But the minor tussles, which are springing from here and there, that too on the election eve, need to be nipped in the bud.
The discord among senior BJP leaders reportedly shadowed the Centra Election Committee meeting of the party with Sushma Swaraj leaving it in the middle. The simmering tension, which was made public by Swaraj herself on twitter, is due to the party warming up to Sriramulu’s BSR Congress in Karnataka. The Reddy brothers, who controlled mining in Karnataka’s Bellary region, are part of the BSR Congress. Swaraj was upset at the inclusion of allies without consensus.
I am opposed to the BSR alliance or merger with BJP in Karnataka. @mukeshirs
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwarajbjp) March 6, 2014
While the Varanasi faction of the party is involved in a signature campaign demanding that party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi should fight Lok Sabha election from the seat, senior leader Dr. MM Joshi has serious concerns about it. He has made it clear that he would not be happy to vacate Varanasi – his current Lok Sabha seat for Modi. Joshi had earlier sought clarifications from the party leadership on news reports that Modi would be contesting from Varanasi.
The BJP is also struggling to keep the old ally Shiv Sena happy in Maharashtra. The reason is recent closeness of BJP former president Nitin Gadkari with Sena’s bête noire Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Raj Thackeray. Gadkari had met the MNS chief recently, triggering speculation that the parties may be working on a seat arrangement.
While BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy ruled out an alliance with the MNS, the latter is mulling over the prospects of not fielding candidates against the BJP in the state. Rudy said the BJP’s only ally in Maharashtra was the Shiv Sena and there was no possibility of seat adjustments with the MNS. In the meantime, Raj Thackeray is planning to declare his candidates on Sunday.
The party is at a crucial juncture where it is winning old allies back. Bihar’s Lok Janshakti Party is already in NDA’s fold and in Andhra Pradesh, a formal announcement on the tie-up between the BJP and the TDP is likely to be made early next week. With the federal front of AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa and TMC’s Mamata Banerjee becoming a reality, which would help BJP in the future, such consensus crises will only dissuade the public – just like the last time. BJP will have to take a lot of care in not repeating the history.
If at all something goes wrong, despite soaring popularity of Modi, the leadership will be to blame.