BJP needs a 'Brand Name' to sell itself!

  • Created on Saturday, 02 June 2012 17:40
  • Written by Punyatma Sharan, Founder/CEO - PolityIndia.Com, has a BA (Political Science) from India and MBA (Finance) from USA.

bjp sign smIt would be an understatement to say that Bharatiya Janata Party came out looking tired, badly bruised and without any direction at the party's convention in Mumbai last week. The party which claims that it is 'a party with a difference' came out looking like a group of political activists which has no common goal and no plans to do something good for the country.

The party's internal conflict dominated the meet which resulted in the debate whether Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa are going to attend the meeting. They finally came to attend the meeting but the very fractured convention could be seen from far, far away. The final culmination of the convention which ends in a rally gave even a more fractured image of the party when it was not attended by L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj. I totally agree with Ram Jethmalani, a BJP MP, when he in a letter to Nitin Gadkari, lambasted the functioning of the party.

These conventions are supposed to have serious debates on issues affecting the country and come up with resolutions in a united voice which becomes an impetus for the cadre to work hard with a sense of direction and responsibility. The convention in Mumbai totally failed to even remotely achieve this objective.

The same party which at one time was an embodiment of principles, character, nationalism and morality has totally drifted from its path. 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. This is, of course, the BJP of the past.

I fail to understand that why Nitin Gadkari was given an extension and made the party president for another three years. He has no national appeal and his face and image is not identifiable by the majority of the Indian population. His first tenure as the president of the party was marred by controversies and conflict within the party. The party got 47 out of 403 seats in the UP assembly elections...The electoral victory in Bihar was not a victory of BJP...It was a referendum on Nitish Kumar and BJP is in power in the state just by riding the coattails of Nitish Kumar. 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. I don't understand that why Vajpayee and Advani could not see the future need of the party and tried to develop a strong second line of leadership...There were some very good people but the party is struggling to find a leader.

The general impression is that Nitin Gadkari is the nominee of the RSS which has a very considerable hold on BJP...RSS also has to understand the changing dynamics of Indian politics...RSS is not the only group which makes our voting population...They have to find a leader whose appeal cuts across the caste, state and party lines. Even movie producer/director Yash Chopra stopped giving roles to his son Uday Chopra after he realised that he does not have what it takes to make it as an actor. RSS and BJP should have adopted the same approach about Nitin Gadkari.

I can understand this situation about the Congress party...they do not need to develop a second line of leadership...The party starts and ends with Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi... Everyone else is just a glorified 'durbari'... Most of the members of the Congress party who claim to be close to the Gandhi family have an invisible tail which they are supposed to wag before the family. Some people who were with the Congress party at one time but could not accept the Gandhi family as their leader because of the existence of some spine in their body and even though they are now part of the ruling UPA coalition, left the party and are on their own (Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee etc). It is so shocking and surprising that the governance of the world's largest democracy is so tightly controlled by these three people. They can give any position to their loyalists they want to... They wanted to make Dr Manmohan Singh and Pratibha Patil the PM and President of the country and they got it. All these three people have very mediocre education and even more mediocre level of intelligence. The set up of the Congress party was aptly described by a close friend of mine who also is a Congress MP:

Ek beta, Ek beti, Ek mayee
Isi ka naam hai Congress (I)

The Congress party has given so much fodder to BJP but the party was unable to capitalise on any of them. The scams (2G, CWG etc), rising prices of essential commodities etc were given to BJP on a platter but the party was unable to take it to the people and make it a national issue. The recent rise in petrol price is an example of political management of the Congress party. I feel that when the Congress party wants to increase the petrol price or the price of any other commodity by Rs 3, they increase it by Rs 5 and when there is a public outcry by BJP and other parties, they cut the price by Rs 2 and make the public feel good and just kill the issue. There is no doubt that they have a Ph.D in political management and BJP is still struggling to finish high school. The Congress party outsmarts and outmanoeuvres BJP on a daily basis. I feel that because of the rising prices, the role of sex in the life of a commoner in India must have diminished because the Congress party is screwing them everyday. The Congress party is as serious about dealing with inflation and corruption as Pakistan is about dealing with terrorism.

BJP has to realize that the world has changed and they should come out of their shell and shed their myopic views on issues and have a global perspective. They should be proactive and take initiatives on issues and not just play a reactive role. Even if BJP has to play a perpetual role of an opposition party, they can keep the ruling party on their toes because of their intellectual observation on issues. The party should have a vision and a goal both for domestic and international issues. The only person who comes to my mind who can take the BJP out of its mess is Narendra Modi. He has done a great job in Gujarat. He should be brought to the scene of national politics after the assembly elections in Gujarat in the later part of the year. Nitin Gadkari should make way for him to become the president of the party and become the face of the party in 2014 parliamentary elections.

BJP is a strong brand name but it also needs a brand name to sell the party. The brand name product has to be complemented by a brand name salesperson. Even if we give the best ingredients to an immature cook, the food would taste bad. When it comes to political governance, Narendra Modi is not only a good cook, he is a time tested professional chef. Let Narendra Modi be the catalyst for change and take BJP to where it belongs '“ to become the ruling party of India. He should not be restricted to just Gujarat. People like L K Advani and others in his age group should take a back seat and assume the role of the patriarch of the party. Narendra Modi's role should be as the first one among equals and he would have to make sure that all the old timers are respected and get their dues.

If BJP does not mend its ways, history would again repeat itself in 2014 and we would see either a member of the Gandhi family or one of its loyal '˜durbari' taking the oath of office as the PM of India.


# Sandhya Sinha 2012-06-02 19:23
I ditto your views Punyatma ji. BJP definitely has lost its stature, gravity and substance. I have always considered them as a Ravan. A party with umpteen heads and none of the heads having any particular identity or substance as such. The feisty though arrogant head Arun Jaitley seems to have got a very strong dose of water coolant. Sushma and Advani ji didn't attend the meeting. Who IS actually running the party?
# Dr Neerja Arun 2012-06-03 01:52
I would like to say that today people don't even look towards BJP as an alternative because the faces are sitting with big egos. They are virtually not directly connected with aam aadmi. It is said that today BJP doesn't have ears and eyes. It has only mouth. Indians would like to give BJP a very big lead but the question is - Are they capable enough to tolerate their own self, leave apart others. Bloated egos don't take anyone anywhere. They are losing opportunities after opportunities. People like Ramdev and Anna have gained because of BJP's inability and inaction. These aam sabha should have been done by BJP but who is interested. They are happy enough by the petty facts that media calls them for some shows and they are BIG ENOUGH in their party. They are losing precious time. Big mouths and saffron bold colour wouldn't mean even after they have a brand name if they live with eye-less and ear-less state. For next five years, there is no real alternative and people will struggle same way as they are doing now. This country needs a showdown but no one has enough courage.
# Vijay Sinha 2012-06-03 03:11
# Kalpana Rastogi 2012-06-03 05:10
This article seems to be an extension of the earlier article on Narendra Modi. And though not very vividly yet distinctly shows the relevance of a leader like Modi in the rudderless BJP, and it has been put across in a subtle yet strong manner. Seeing the present scenario, it is really pathetic to see that BJP is not able to ride on the peoples reaction on corruption in the Congress. The Aamir Khan show has been able to move the people and the govt in its own way, however small. Anna had been successful initially and looked like the nation would not stop but the internal bickerings of the Anna organisation did not let it rise to the pinnacle and such a huge, old party like BJP with eminent lawyers, stalwarts in their own field, even good honest men cannot think of a way to propel it in the right direction...no way. They have to think of the nation and then the party and lastly of thier individual selves.
# Punyatma Sharan 2012-06-03 11:29
Dear Mr.Sinha, PolityIndia.com is not a newspaper where news are just published. It is a public forum to have a discussion based on my take on different issues. I am not either pro or against any political party. I appreciate and criticise them based on their actions. When UPA was for FDI, I supported it because I feel it is good for the country. Similarly, I was among the first one to demand the resignation of the former BJP chief minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa when there were corruption charges against him. I support everything (based on my experience) which I think is good for the country. I do not care about any political party and I do not have any political leaning whatsoever. I very strongly feel that both the Congress and BJP have betrayed the country. They are there because, unfortunately, the country has no other alternative. The Congress party from the days of Nehru and Shastri and BJP from the days of Vajpayee and Advani have gone nowhere but downhill. This is the reason, I am very critical of BJP but support Narendra Modi. I would support him even if he leaves BJP and starts his own party. PolityIndia.com was launched in November, 2010 and UPA is in power and was embroiled in so many corruption cases. I had no choice but to write against them. I would use an analogy from the movie industry...Peop le can only appreciate or criticise those actors whose movies are being released...You cannot talk about an actor whose movies are not being released...Peop le still talk about Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgan but do not discuss an actor like Uday Chopra. I call a spade a spade irrespective of the party or the person involved. I am not opinionated (preconceived) but I do have my opinion on issues and it is based on the pros and cons of issues. I am not in the business of building a politically correct image for myself.
# Sanjay Pawar 2012-06-03 13:39
I have been reading your articles and writing on the website since its inception in 2010. Even though I come from a UPA background, I can never accuse you of any bias. You are very objective in your analysis. I guess Mr.Sinha does not understand the difference between a reporter and a columnist.
# Kalpana Rastogi 2012-06-03 13:58
It seems Mr Sharan that you should learn to take criticism more humbly...what ever Mr Sinha has said or written may be his personal view and/or we are not here to teach anybody why, how, when...there was no need to give such a huge explanation. We who have been readers and have been participating in the forum right from its inception just like Mr Sanjay Pawar and know the spirit and the ethos of this site. But then we should learn to hear what other people have to say. It may go a long way to make the site more constructive and appreciative and also gives more fame and name to the site. It can start a debate on a topic. I remember one comment of mine created a debate which was very healthy.
# Sanjay Pawar 2012-06-03 15:26
Even though I have agreed with Kalpana Rastogi most of the time and both of us have been writing on this website since 2010, I disagree with her about Punyatma's comments. He is totally right in making his position clear. Since the inception of the website, he has built a reputation of being a very objective person and his articles are read by thousands of people. People who are new to the website may not know Punyatma as well as we do and any allegation without a rebuttal from Punyatma can hurt the reputation of the website. I would also request Mr Sinha to read all his articles.
# Sanjay Pawar 2012-06-03 16:19
Mr.Sinh a, please read the following two articles. It will help you to decide if Punyatma is pro BJP or not? I am a part of the UPA family and I don't mind if someone is critical of BJP but I am a supporter of Punyatma because of his objectivity. Thanks !


# Rakhee Sharma 2012-06-03 20:02
I agree with Sanjay Pawar that Mr.Vijay Sinha does not understand the difference between a reporter and a columnist. Mr.Sinha, the title of Punyatma's column is My Column. It is his views on different issues and he wants his opinion to be debated. Kalpana Rastogi, also an old timer like us, is right when she says that why bother about what others have to say. All the regular visitors to the website know that how impartial and objective Punyatma is in his analysis.
# Dr Dhananjay Singh 2012-06-03 20:07
How can anyone say that you are pro BJP when you are so critical of the party? Even though I teach Physics at the Master's level and have the reputation of being quite intelligent, I fail to understand Vijay Sinha's assertion about you being a pro BJP person. It seems that I am missing something.
# Mukta Dhar 2012-06-03 20:12
Punyatma, there is nothing wrong even if you are a critic of the Congress party. The entire country is very frustrated with UPA. The country is waiting for BJP to bring Narendra Modi to national politics. It seems that Vijay Sinha is a member of the Congress party and could not take the criticism of the Gandhi family.
# Dr Anita Sinha 2012-06-03 20:16
I agree that Narendra Modi is the only person who can show some good governance in the country. He has done it in Gujarat and if given a chance, he will replicate the Gujarat model in India.
# Anamika Mishra 2012-06-04 21:56
I feel that it is only a matter of time when Narendra Modi would emerge as the undisputed leader of India. The public frustration is at an all time high and there is no other leader in sight who has the right credentials to deliver.
# Anushka Sharma 2012-06-05 22:10
Punyatma, I agree with you that Narendra Modi is going to come to national politics after the Gujarat elections. I look forward to reading your articles. I always try to send you my comments whenever I find some time.
# Deepak Mathur 2012-06-06 17:38
When it comes to corruption, there is no difference between Congress and BJP. The former knows how to make money and the 'party with a difference' is still learning. Both have the mindset of a thief.
# Sharad Ahuja 2012-06-06 17:46
I have dealt with some former central BJP ministers who are corrupt to the core. Ye log imandari ka kewal mukhota pahante hain lekin congress ke logon se bhi bade chor hai.
# Sanjay Yadav 2012-06-06 17:55
The country has tried a lot of people to be the prime minister and most of them were not good enough to become anything. I totally endorse Narendra Modi to be the next PM of India.
# Ajay Gupta 2012-06-13 21:01
BJP has so much potential but they have not managed that potential well. In a way, I would say they have given competition to Congress in terms of being low on leadership. BJP can really be a force to reckon with if they can improve 4 things:

1) Clear value proposition
2) Strong leadership
3) Clean image free from corruption
4) Strong grassroots level organization
# Ajay Kumar Sinha 2012-06-15 09:06
When the nation needs great people to come and lead the country, there are instances in the history of the world, when the country needs, nations have produced their worthy sons, when England needed two Great people, they came forward to lead the country - Disraeli and Gladstone. India produced her best to get the independence. Every party in India needs branding let alone BJP which has a severe branding crisis. Their present branding effort with Modi at the centre will hardly help them outside Gujarat. Modi's image tainted by Godhara where he did not follow his Rajdharam is not accepted by the majority outside Gujarat. Before the death of Nehru, there was a lot of debate as to after Nehru WHO? But when Panditjee passed, there was a smooth transition and dimunitive Shashtri became PM and the world has seen his performance. He was a leader who led by example. When he asked the nation to leave cereal on Wednessday every week, people left eating cereals on Wednesday voluntarily. All parties have to do a serious soul searching and select a leader whom the people will believe irrespective of the caste, creed or religion. Only such people can lead their respective parties to victory in this dificult times. Dharamvad, Jativad and Parivad has to go and then only better people will come to politics and give there contribution. I believe in my own strength than the weakness of others. BJP should have its own concrete agenda as to how they are going to tackle the current situation and present it to the nation in their next 5 years rolling plan and take the nation into their confidence before going to the poll in 2014. Any good PM with clear action plan will only be required to implement the rolling plan for the next five years.
# Kalpana Singh 2012-07-01 21:01
Narendra Modi is the only one who can take BJP out of troubled waters. Most of the other so called leaders of the party are 'Khaua Pakaua'(CORRUPT ) netas. They are busy making money for themselves and their family and do not care about the country. I can even name a few whose life style completely changed after they joined politics.
# Vinay & Anu Mahajan 2012-07-01 21:06
In addition to Narendra Modi, I have some confidence in Sushma Swaraj and Rajiv Pratap Singh Rudy. The rest of the people who represent the party on TV etc are good for nothing.


Ram Nath Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind (born 1 October, 1945) is the 14th President of the Republic of India. He was sworn in as President of India on 25 July, 2017 succeeding Pranab Mukherjee.


Prime Minister

narendra modi

Narendra Modi (born 17 September, 1950) is the 15th Prime Minister of the Republic of India. He was sworn in as the Prime Minister on 26 May, 2014 succeeding Dr Manmohan Singh.


Manifesto (Congress)


2014 Elections


Manifesto (BJP)

Manifesto (AAP)