Is CONGRESS strong because BJP is weak?

  • Created on Saturday, 11 February 2012 19:23
  • Published on Friday, 10 February 2012 19:00
  • Written by Punyatma Sharan, Founder/CEO - PolityIndia.Com, has a BA (Political Science) from India and MBA (Finance) from USA.

BJPAnother chapter of moral degradation and bankruptcy of Indian politics was written last week when news channels broadcast footage showing Karnataka state Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi sharing a porn video with C.C. Patil, minister for women and child development, while sitting in the state assembly of Karnataka.

These two ministers along with the owner of the phone, state Minister for Ports, Science and Technology Krishna Palemar, have stepped down. Patil has reportedly insisted that they were not deliberately looking at pornography.

He said: 'We are requesting the honourable Speaker of the House to conduct an inquiry and we'll come out with a clean chit.' "I have resigned to prevent any embarrassment to the party. All three of us will prove our innocence," Mr Savadi said. Mr Patil had previously suggested that professional women should "cover up" to avoid sexual harassment or attacks. Use of cell phones is prohibited in the state legislature when the assembly and the council are in session. Mobile jammers inside the monolithic building, however, have not been functioning due to a snag that remained unattended for weeks by the secretariat staff.

In addition to the fact that one of the ministers watching porn was also the minister for women and child development, it is even more sad and ironical that all the three ministers belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party which rules the state and is also the main opposition party at the national level, the party which at one time was an embodiment of principles, character, nationalism and morality. Unlike politicians from other parties, they were in politics for social service and to give something to the country...they believed in serving the country...they did not become rich overnight because of their political affiliation and activities. We may or may not agreed with their political ideology but their personal integrity was always above suspicion. I am talking of the BJP in the past...a historical perspective.  

It is not a secret that I am very close to some very powerful people from both the Congress party and the BJP. When it comes to friendship, I draw a line where it does not affect my objectivity. We both respect each other's thinking and the relationship has endured the test of time. Since this is an article about BJP's mishap with character and morality, I would try to discuss the direction and the path of BJP's journey.

There is a general consensus in the country that the BJP is a party without a head. Even though Nitin Gadkari is the president of the party, his face and image is not identifiable by the majority of the Indian population. The party is counting on the fact that the image of the Congress party is totally tarnished because of the 2G, CWG and other scams and by default, people would vote for BJP. They are counting on the negativilty of the Congress party to come to power rather than the positivity of their own message. The party totally failed to build the second rung of leadership. After Vajpayee and Advani, there is not a single person in the party who has a national appeal.

Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are supposedly the PM in waiting for the party. Arun Jaitley never fought any Assembly or Parliamentary election in his life. The last election he fought was for the presidency of Delhi University Student's Union in 1977. I remember seeing him on the campus of Patna University in 1977 when he was campaigning for ABVP (student wing of BJP) candidates. I also fought and won the election as an independent candidate. Sushma Swaraj, on the other hand, has been in the middle of electoral politics...fought a lot of elections including the one against Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in Karnataka where Sonia polled 51.7 % of the votes and Sushma got 44.7 %. She won the 2009 election to the 15th Lok Sabha from the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh by a highest margin of 4.01 lakh votes. She has been awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award twice. If it was not for her, Sonia Gandhi would have become the PM in 2004. In a heavily publicized and emotionally charged episode following the elections, Sushma Swaraj threatened to shave her head, don a white saree and eat groundnuts (symbolically mourning) if Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born Congress leader, became Prime Minister of India. I have been told that Sonia Gandhi even called Vajpayee to discuss this issue and he also advised her that India is not ready for a person of a foreign origin to be the PM.

There is no doubt that Sushma Swaraj looks good compared to Arun Jaitley and others in the party but she also does not have what it takes to lead the party in the national election and bring it to power. The dynamics of the Indian population has changed...50% of the population is below 35 years of age. It is very hard for them to identify themselves with L K Advani, Arun Jaitley or Sushma Swaraj. BJP totally failed to build leadership in that age range. Congress realised the importance of it and is using Rahul, Priyanka, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Sandeep Dixit and others in their election campaigns. BJP, which ruled Uttar Pradesh at one time has been relegated to the fourth position, as per some poll projections, in the UP assembly elections after SP, BSP and the Congress. A young leader only can resonate with a young population. There is also some people in the BJP who feel that Advani can still lead the party in 2014. If a 84 year old person can resonate with such a young and vibrant India, there is a problem with our young India. It is like expecting a 25 year old to be a die hard fan of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor. They cannot compare themselves with the Congress party in terms of developing the second rung of leadership. The next generation of the Gandhi family is the secong rung of leadership. Everyone else close to the family is nothing else but a GLORIFIED durbari. I would not be surprised if some people are already trying to cultivate Priyanka's children.

The party of Vajpayee has to reinvent itself and present itself before the Indian public as a viable alternative. They should not try to ride the coattails of the negativity of the Congress party to come to power. They have to fight the public perception that BJP has no direction. They ought to have a solid message. They should work on ruling the hearts of the people before ruling Indraprastha, the old name for Delhi. There should be a zero tolerance for unfair activities. The video saga has definitely lowered the image of the party. They have to establish the correlation between what they preach and what they practice. They cannot wax eloquence on morality just as a political position. According to ADR '“ India, a watchdog for electoral reforms, BJP has given tickets to a lot of people with criminal background in the UP elections. I feel that BJP is living in a bubble of ignorance and self glorification. The party has gone into oblivion and they do not have much time to resurrect itself...the next parliamentary election is not far away. If they do not work very hard on it, the dream of L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj to bring the party back to power and become the PM would be exactly like their dream...ONLY A DREAM. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Congress is strong because BJP is weak.

I sometimes wonder that what happened to our values of the past depicted in this song.


+1 # Sandhya Sinha 2012-02-11 20:52
Yes. Not only weak but inexperienced and without any substance. No one has a national stature. Unfortunately. For Advaniji, his own partymen run him down. Unlike Congress which would never run down their head irrespective of whether they appreciate or not. Their decorum is missing, their personal feel with the masses is missing and so is their media management. Without any substance, their head is already heavy with thinking of themselves as heavyweights. As far as I see, only Advaniji, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Nirmala Sitharaman have the right substance and there is nobody else talking any sense or carrying any stature.
+1 # Sandhya Sinha 2012-02-11 22:07
The video attachment is very inspiring and meaningful in the context of your very well written article. Though I differ on the point that it was because of Sushma's threat of shaving her head off that Sonia ji did not accept the position of the PM. Sonia ji is a very balanced and sensitive house maker and she took her decision as she felt right to keep her country(her home)in harmony.
+1 # Arti Bhatnagar 2012-02-12 20:55
An excellent explanation of both the Congress party and BJP. I am sure people have said this before so many times...your understanding is just superb. Your take on BJP is so correct...they have to be shown the mirror to know where they stand. It is great that you say things as you feel like. You don't hide your feelings...Your political friends should take advice from you about their future plans.
+1 # Sanjay Pawar 2012-02-12 20:57
Another great article. The song brought back a lot of memories. Indians should be very careful of their values...It should not get lost in the medley of western values.
# Anushka Sharma 2012-02-12 20:58
Punyatma, just one word for this article - WOW!
+1 # Anant Sharma 2012-02-12 21:01
There is no leader in BJP who can lead the party. You have rightly said that they live in their own bubble of self glorification.
# Raj Sinha 2012-02-12 21:04
I agree with Sandhya Sinha about Nirmala Sitharaman. She is very mature and sober and has all the ingredients to be a very good leader.
+1 # Dr Neerja Arun 2012-02-12 22:11
Very thoughtful article.
+1 # Dr Daya Dayal 2012-02-13 02:54
I simply detest talking of scoundrels (any political party) as I have a strong feeling that if political parties are banned entire Nation will advance atleast 64 years if not more. Root cause of our backwardness, corruption, poverty, underdevelopmen t, unemployment, uncontrolled population is the existence of political parties and their so called leaders! JUST BAN THEM and use their fund to run the nation, we could do much better without paying a single penny as tax for next three years!!!
+1 # Ravi Nandan Sahay 2012-02-13 07:25
A good one. Keep it up.
+1 # Dr Anita Sinha 2012-02-13 07:33
It is so great to see my former classmate write such great articles. I was one of your big supporters during the Student Union elections and I am still a big supporter of what you are trying to do - create awareness about major issues...I am very proud of you...May God bless you and your work. Since this is a totally commercial free website supported by Punyatma for public service, I would also take the liberty of making an appeal to all the supporters of PolityIndia.com to go to the Please Support Our Mission link on the website to make a financial contribution to help the website. I along with my friends always try to raise money for the website.
+3 # Kalpana Rastogi 2012-02-13 09:14
Really a sad state of affairs, a paradoxical situation. Goes to show the lows of politics today. Politics which should be the profession of highly qualified, the most motivated and morally upright people who can take the country forward has become so maligned so as to bring shame to the country. C for Congress is synonymous with corruption and BJP is no less with this award winning the DIRTY PICTURE. Ek taraf kuan hai ek taraf khai...jisme bhi desh girega, girega hi... and the worst part is that there is no third option also...where are we heading to? Justice Ganguly incited some hopes but with the new allegations against former Chief Justice of SC, can we say the same? I am a die hard optimist AND SO would still like to believe ALL IS WELL.
+1 # Ajay Sinha 2012-02-13 09:31
My understanding of BJP is that it's policies are directed by the Sangh and the leaders of BJP will be one who has the support of Sangh. Sushma, Jaitley, Uma, Modi etc are known all India face of BJP, who has what capacity to lead the party is still to be tested. Gadkari has a long way to go,
India has entered the era of colition politics with Congress and BJP as national parties and regional parties putting in their weight suiting to their advantage.
+1 # Arijit 2012-02-13 10:51
BJP is a no-show party today and it hasn't got any gennext leaders.
# Rakhee Sharma 2012-02-14 20:20
An article with such clarity about the two parties. There is no doubt that there is a crisis of leadership at the BJP headquarters. It is because of this crisis that the UPA might come back again in 2014.
+1 # Mukta Dhar 2012-02-14 20:23
If BJP wants to resurrect itself, they have to bring Narendra Modi at the centre and make him the president of BJP in 2013 when Nitin Gadkari's term is going to end. He is the only one who can save the dying BJP.
# Shamael Ahmad 2012-02-15 11:59
Congress never became weak.
+2 # Kumar Raunak 2012-02-16 13:01
The biggest undoing of the BJP has been the fact that it has come across as an opportunistic and irresponsible opposition party, always on a lookout to bring down the government. They have quite conveniently changed their stand on issues ranging from FDI in retail to lokpal bill just for the sake of opposing the government. The BJP as a party does not stand for anything anymore. It is not necessary to have young leaders to find traction with the youth, instead a party needs to speak of and act on issues that resonate with the youth of the country, something which the BJP seems to have given a miss.
# Ajay Gupta 2012-02-20 17:17
Indian politicians whether from BJP or Congress or any other party are a class apart. We seem to have a knack for electing the worst of the breed - those with no conscience or right to live in the society. It is a sad state of affairs. The question in my mind is whether things are going downhill or are more people being 'caught' and brought forth by the media these days. I wish it is the latter even though in my heart, I realize is is unfortunately probably a bit of both, the solution to which lies in a greater level of enlightenment among those of us who elect such rascals.
# Anshuman Narain 2012-02-21 13:46
I really don't care much about individuals. For me, its all about the ideology. Which is where the BJP guys fail very badly. Because in the end, as much as I loath Cong, given the current scenario I will have to vote for them for being the lesser evil. The reason for this is because BJP always tried to project Hindutva as a religion rather than as a culture. Which is a problem because I really don't care much for a temple in Ayodhya, the very basis of BJP's existence. BJP came to eminence only because they wanted to build a worthless temple instead of trying to alleviate the many issues that ail India. Cong on the other hand, at least on paper, has always maintained inclusivity as one of its tenants (though at times even their reality states the opposite). But the BJP is openly divisive. Just look at the incredible indoctrination which goes on in the school textbooks of BJP ruled states. At some point Mr.M M qto1khi wanted to promote Astrology as a science! Ram Temple! For me, any party which takes up such kind of inane issues is a strict no as I personally don't want to be associated with primitive and ignorant thought processes. Thought there is a glimmer of hope within the dark saffron ranks of the BJP. They have an ally in Nitish Kumar, a man with meteoric integrity & action orientation. He has regards within almost all sections of our fractured society and is someone who can actually deliver the governance as promised. For someone like him even I would vote BJP. People talk a lot about N Modi, but do we really want a PM who has such a close association to the unfortunate bloodletting of 2002. There is just too much baggage with him. But Nitish Kumar is, and always will be, viewed within somewhat the same prism as the amazing Mr Vajpayee once was. The challenge for the BJP, in my humble opinion, is not the right personality but the right ideology & representation.


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