UPA-II has been left in the lurch by its two major partners. Also, people are fed up of the scam-tainted UPA and are looking for an alternative that will tackle the crises the country is facing. The Opposition BJP is ill-prepared to take up the challenge because of the joust at the top over Modi&’s possible emergence as the NDA&’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 election. Senior BJP leaders were conspicuous by their absence during his anointment as campaign committee chief. However, the BJP-led NDA is the only viable and credible alternative to the present regime, since the creation of a Third Front is a distant illusion.
Narendra Modi is a fantastic administrator and an epitome of personal integrity, though his politics over the 2002 riots is questionable. He has done a commendable job in converting his image from a hardcore Hindutva figure to one focussed on development. Modi&’s change of strategy has been good for India and secularism. Modi has a chance of playing a bigger role in national politics because of his hat-trick electoral victories in Gujarat. He is also an OBC who look set to become the prime minister for the first time; the potential emotional appeal of this is incalculable.
The BJP must come out with a credible policy and address political, economic and security-related issues. It must work on potential
programmes and mobilise support in order
to project itself as a credible alternative to the UPA.
Even at the height of the UPA&’s unpopularity, the BJP is likely to secure 140-150 seats; this may go up by 40 seats if Modi is projected as the prime ministerial candidate, according to knowledgeable political analysts.
This means some 100-odd seats will have to be cobbled up with the help of allies. The present NDA allies are not enough; BJP has to garner 100 seats from outside the NDA alliance. Therefore, a credible policy and programme are most essential, rather than projection of a leader.
s s paul,
10 june, chakdaha
Need a secular face
The BJP has a good chance of capturing power in 2014 if it plays its cards right. It has to go to the electorate with a credible programme, which should be arrived at with all constituents of the NDA. It is common knowledge that in the age of coalition governments, it is well-nigh impossible for the Congress or the BJP to come to power on their own. History tells us that the NDA has been able to manage coalition partners better than the UPA.
Although BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have performed credibly, the prime ministerial candidate has to be someone from BJP who enjoys wide acceptance.
Only a united front will be able to defeat the Congress and capture power. It is well-known that the BJP has little or no presence in south India. The prime ministerial candidate must be someone who is secular.
This is very important, because the high regard among some for a ruthless leader like Modi who has shown his power in Gujarat is misplaced. What is applicable in Gujarat is not necessarily applicable to the whole of India. We need a dynamic leader, undoubtedly, but he should be someone who believes in democracy.
p s ponnuswami,
10 june, kolkata
Worthy mascot
The image of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is going to be the key factor that will help the BJP bag a larger number of seats in the upcoming parliamentary election. The Godhra riots associated with Modi will not be a determining issue, as he has already been given a clean chit by the courts. The outstanding achievement of Modi, who has successfully transformed Gujarat into an industrial hub, will surely boost the BJP’s chances. The common people of India, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, understand whom to vote for when it comes to a question of their betterment.
The economic policies of the BJP do not differ radically from that of Congress; so the assurance of the implementation of a well -planned policy will not be as convincing to people who are looking for an alternative. Modi’s goodwill, and his performance as a chief minister, will prove to be the decisive factor.
However, if people choose the BJP in the next election, the party’s top leaders will have their task cut out; they must ensure that communal elements are kept in check; they must remain impartial with regards to religion.
sourav bhattacharya,
10 june, agarpara.
Emphasis on core issues
The BJP needs to provide a credible program in order to fancy its chances of coming to power in 2014. During the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-led NDA managed to bag 159 seats as against the UPA&’s 262. The BJP alone had bagged 116 seats. If the party wants to make a turnaround, it needs to pull up its socks. At present, the BJP is ruling in seven states, out of which three states are being governed with allies. Thus, it is a huge task for the BJP to turn the tide in its favour.
UPA-II has been saddled with controversies, scams and scandals. They are literally in the doldrums. BJP, as an alternative, may capitalise on this huge opportunity. However, it needs to have a credible vision. Instead of making false promises, it must come out with a realistic and trustworthy agenda, so that the electorate can rely on the party.
Narendra Modi is someone who has worked wonders as the chief minister of Gujarat. At present, our country is suffering from numerous problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, population explosion, corruption and malnutrition.
During the UPA-II’s tenure, the country has hardly developed. It is high time the BJP lays emphasis on core issues.
indranil sanyal,
10 june, kolkata.
Divided house
In what is a major gamble, BJP chief Rajnath Singh has anointed Modi as the chairman of the party&’s election campaign committee, disregarding perceived opposition from party veteran LK Advani and other senior leaders. Modi’s elevation has ended months of suspense regarding the BJP’s leadership in the run-up to elections to five state Assemblies this year and the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Modi’s elevation had been brewing for some time, though LK Advani’s prime ministerial ambitions were in his way. Without taking advantage of UPA-II’s unbridled corruption and lack of governance, the BJP failed to project a united face because of personal political ambitions; younger leaders like Sushma Swaraj and aspirants have been trying to shoot from Advani&’s shoulder.
arun kumar bhaduri,
10 june, kolkata
Lagging behind
The BJP obviously needs a credible programme to become viable alternative, particularly after the iron-man&’s dramatic departure. The party has selected Narendra Modi as chairman of the campaign committee; involvement in the Godhra riots is Modi&’s only drawback. However, one ought to focus on development works initiated by him in Gujarat. When voters compare the UPA government&’s development projects with those initiated under the NDA, it will be apparent that there is a lot of difference.
No government other than the UPA has contributed so much for upliftment of the down-trodden.
chanda bagchi,
12 june, kolkata