Choose be­tween Nehru and MODI-RSS: BJP to vot­ers

The Sunday Guardian - - THE BIG STORY - CON­TIN­UED FROM P3

Ato power un­der the lead­er­ship of Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee, they started say­ing that BJP’S right wing vot­ers would never ex­ceed 10%-15% in the coun­try.

In 2014, with 31% vote share on its own and 17 crore-voter sup­port, BJP’S aim was to con­sol­i­date the Hindu voter base with­out los­ing time. The mission has been messy—cow pol­i­tics in UP, for ex­am­ple— and even vi­o­lent some­times— cases of lynch­ing of Mus­lims in Hindi-speak­ing states. But in these tur­bu­lent times, Shah has brought about a trans­for­ma­tion to the BJP that no pre­vi­ous party pres­i­dent was able to. He has cre­ated a per­ma­nent in­fra­struc­ture and sys­tems to spread in­for­ma­tion and cre­ate aware­ness of the BJP ide­ol­ogy. He has re­set BJP’S as­sets all over India and has in­creased man­power in all the dis­tricts. He has reshuf­fled the lead­er­ship-base in dis­tricts like never be­fore. In do­ing so he has cre­ated within the party a huge dis­tance be­tween Modi’s power base and that of the rest of BJP lead­ers. In the process, Shah has taken a firm grip of the mam­moth party struc­ture that will be made avail­able in Modi’s sup­port—maybe only in Modi’s sup­port—dur­ing and post the 2019 elections.

That should ex­plain why, while ad­dress­ing the al­limpor­tant National Con­ven­tion at Ramlila Maidan on Satur­day, Amit Shah spoke of the third Bat­tle of Pa­ni­pat fought be­tween the Marathas and Ahmed Shah Ab­dali of Afghanistan in 1761. He said, “Kuch yudh aise hote hai jo sadiyon tak asar chodte hai (some bat­tles leave an im­pact for cen­turies).”

Soon after the defeat in the Assembly elections in the three Hindi heart­land states, Shah had given an im­por­tant speech to all of­fice bear­ers on 13 De­cem­ber in Delhi. Then too he had men­tioned the Bat­tle of Pa­ni­pat and had em­pha­sised that 2019 would be a bat­tle of ide­olo­gies. Noth­ing more, noth­ing less. He added that “Aaj aisi hi sthiti hai (2019 re­sem­bles the sit­u­a­tion that was cre­ated dur­ing the Bat­tle of Pa­ni­pat).”

This should not only ex­plain BJP’S des­per­a­tion and panic, but also its pas­sion and con­vic­tion to fight the 2019 elections. As a BJP of­fice bearer claims, “Amit Bhai be­lieves it took 67 years for the RSS ide­ol­ogy to get an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity, as in 2014; but if we lose in 2019, then it will be a tremen­dous set­back for seven decades of our work. It will take us an­other cou­ple of decades to re­gain the thump­ing sup­port for our ide­ol­ogy through the bal­lot box.”

At the BJP event in Ramlila Maidan, Arun Jait­ley un­folded a five-point ac­tion plan for the party’s saf­fron army. He fur­ther elab­o­rated on what the 2019 bat­tle was all about. The lead­er­ship of Modi, the NDA gov­ern­ment’s performance, the national nar­ra­tive on is­sues such as GST and last-mile-de­vel­op­ment, emo­tional ap­peal on is­sues such as Sabari­mala and cow pol­i­tics to Ram temple and al­liance part­ners within the NDA fold will de­cide BJP’S strat­egy.

In UP, BJP’S Pa­ni­pat, Congress is seen as a vote katwa (vote cut­ter) party by all. It will cut into BJP’S Brah­min votes, but the BJP thinks that Congress will also cut into the Mus­lim votes of SP-BSP, more than their Brah­min votes. Up-based BJP lead­ers claim that it is pos­si­ble that the Congress will be of­fered some seats by the SP-BSP by the end of Fe­bru­ary if they find BJP’S Hin­dutva nar­ra­tive is not res­onat­ing on the ground. SP-BSP’S seat-shar­ing may not be fi­nal, yet. By go­ing for a his­toric al­liance, Mayawati (fight­ing only 38 seats) and Akhilesh (38) have given hopes to Mamata Banerjee (fight­ing 42 seats) by ac­ci­dent. Banerjee wants to emerge as the big­gest party after Congress in the non-bjp space.

BJP top sources claim that they have com­pleted their home­work and three to four big ticket an­nounce­ments and the Kumbh Mela event will change the nar­ra­tive by the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Their in­ter­nal pan-india sur­vey con­ducted on more than 5 lakh vot­ers is ready. Around 70 sit­ting MPS are be­ing alerted that they would ei­ther be axed or given dif­fer­ent seats or po­si­tions ahead of the elections.

When asked if BJP was “look­ing at 2019 ner­vously”, a se­nior leader said, “for us, the bat­tle is not only about win­ning seats. It’s about ide­ol­ogy. Only Modi and Mandir en­thuse our cadre. Nehru­vian Delhi will be de­feated in this round, fi­nally.”

This ex­plains why Congress is after all im­por­tant in this his­toric mission of Modishah.

Let’s wait and see who wins. Nehru or Modi?

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