Opinion

Infighting mar BJP prospects in Rajasthan & Uttarakhand

Kushal Jeena

The indecisiveness and infighting that currently are rampant in the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party and its governments have the potential of damaging electoral prospects in the upcoming general elections and assembly polls in the northern states of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

The apathy the chief ministers Vashundhra Raje Scindia and Trivendra Singh Rawat of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand respectively have shown towards the party and its workers has paralyzed the organizational structure of the BJP and it seems not prepared for the upcoming electoral challenge from its political opponent Congress that won all the Parliamentary and assembly by polls held in Rajasthan.

In Rajasthan a senior BJP legislator and a prominent Brahmin leader Ghanshyam Tiwari quit the party at a time when the BJP-led state government is fighting a battle of perception that it has failed to deliver governance.

While submitting his resignation to chief minister Scindia he sake about various issues including plight of farmers and demand for reservation for upper caste and corruption, Tiwari declared that he would contest the undeclared emergency in the state and the country.

Interestingly, Tiwari timed his resignation strategically, choosing 38th anniversary of the promulgation of emergency to put Vashundhra government in an embarrassing position.

The departure of Tiwari from the BJP may cost the party heavily as his community in Rajasthan constitutes 12.5 percent of electorate in the state where the ruling party is already facing the wrath of another higher caste Rajput community. The exit of Tiwari might exacerbate the problems of the chief minister who is already facing anti-incumbency factor.

 

Besides, the BJP has failed to put its house in order despite defeats in recent by polls. In the by polls to five assembly and two Lok Sabha seats so far, the BJP has lost three and two respectively to the Congress. It lost two Lok Sabha and 17 assembly by polls.

 

The state unit of the party is plagued with infighting and dissensions. Even the central leadership has failed to appoint a state president, the post which fell vacant for quite a long time because of the differences between the central leadership and the chief minister who wanted the person of her choice to be replaced by the Parnami who was asked to step down for not being in good terms with the chief minister. The new state party unit chief could only be appointed after present Rajya Sabha member Madan Lal Saini; a lower cast leader emerged as a consensus leader.

 

The Congress has been making inroads in the BJP’s areas of influence. With not much to lose, the main opposition party is on the offensive against the Vasundhara Raje government.

 

The BJP suffered another below recently when Manvendra Singh, one of its lawmaker and son of former central minister Jaswant Singh left the party saying it was a big mistake to join a party like BJP. “We were patient, and a lot of workers suffered and were harassed by junior officials and none was spared. Singh also levelled serious allegations of phone tapping and stalking by state intelligence agency and Central Intelligence Department.

The presence of a large number of stalwarts from Rajput community at a rally where Singh announced his resignation from BJP showed that the community is upset with the style of functioning of the chief minister.

Rajasthan Congress President Sachin Pilot said the long list of BJP leaders quitting hints all is not well and asked Raje to introspect.

In the previous elections to Lok Sabha, the rightwing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party had won all the 25 Parliamentary seats in the state of Rajasthan, a performance it has never displayed shown in the past but lost the Parliamentary in by polls held after the outcome of Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The state of the affairs in BJP in some in Uttarakhand where the current chief minister who enjoys the confidence and patronization of BJP president Amit Shah has been showing no interest either in improving the organizational capacity or for the upcoming general elections. He seems interested only in running the government. As far as the government in the state is concerned Rawat has left it completely at the hands of bureaucrats who have been running the administration according to their whims and fancies.

The situation has come to a pass in the picturesque state of Uttarakhand that the folk singers and artists have started criticising the chief minister in their songs. On the contrary, state party Chief Ajay Bhatt who had lost previous assembly election from Ranikhet at a time when the BJP won 57 of total 70 seats in the state assembly has openly been flouting the diktats and suggestions of the chief minister.

The BJP in Uttarakhand is currently divided on caste lines between Rajput and Brahmin communities. The leaders and the legislators belonging to the Brahmin community have not been cooperating with the chief minister Rawat who hails from majority Rajput community. The situation is so fail that the ministers belonging to Brahmin community hardly listen or follow orders of the chief minister. It is only the chief minister Rawat who is being held responsible for all road accidents and other tragedies taking place in the state by none other than his ministers.

In Uttarakhand the High Court located at Nainital is more active than the government and has been delivering outstanding verdicts on almost all the burning issue confronting the state. The proactive court has by its orders not only caused embarrassment for the government but also put it in the dock because the court has been taking decision on the issues on which the chief minister despite public pressure has failed to take a call, be it the issue of law and order, environment, encroachments in the towns, it is High Court that has been lamenting the government for not taking any action and at the same time asking it to swing into action.

“The government (Uttarakhand) and the officers are hand in gloves and acting as mafias,” the High Court commented while hearing a petition on the issue of protection to the wildlife.

Notwithstanding, the High Court’s landmark orders, the government has hardly made any move.

“It was insensitive and it is insensitive. The High Court is forced to issue orders on all matters as the government is hardly working,” said Mahendra Singh Pal, a former lawmaker and senior counsel at the Nainital High Court.

The indecisiveness and sorry state of affairs in the state of Uttarakhand has presently given the opposition Congress party an edge in the forthcoming general elections, The ruling BJP currently holds all the five Parliamentary seats in the tiny hill state of Uttarakhand that came into being on November 9, 2000 after it was curved out of parent state of Uttar Pradesh.

The political graph of the BJP that had virtually swept the two politically significant states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the last general elections has taken a down slide. If elections to the Lok Sabha are held today or in the coming days, the ruling BJP is all set to lose heavily in these two states.

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Infighting mar BJP prospects in Rajasthan & Uttarakhand
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