BJP – It competes with the Congress in lowering its public opinion

The BJP seeks to portray itself as a credible alternative to the Congress in large chunks of the country (but cannot really match the Congress in the breadth of coverage all over the country where it is politically relevant). For that purpose, the BJP seeks to show itself as a non-dynastic and non-corrupt party, a party to look upto. However, events keep on happening that show the BJP in a bad way, and which depict the party as a party that is like any other party. The corruption shown by the party in the important southern state of Karnataka ended up tarnishing the image of the party all over India, and gave all the other parties a strong factor to push the party down. Similarly, the impression of corruption in the party affected the Government in the northern state of Uttarakhand, where the party had to remove the Chief Minister and bring in Khanduri, as a last ditch effort to try and restore some of the reputation of the party before the elections. And dissension is something that is worrying the party in all the states where it is in power (and in many other states as well where it would have liked to present a united front in order to wrest power in these states).
Another such episode happened recently in the state of Karnataka. The state has been in the news for several acts of moral strictness, where there has been a push against any kind of immoral act. This included even innocent events where couples would have gathered for Valentine’s Day, or in parks, etc. And of course, this includes other ‘amoral’ stuff as dancing in pubs, or having dancers in bars; there were even comments by one of the Government ministers that since women do not dress properly, they incite rape attempts on them. When attacks on couples or people indulging in any of these ‘amoral’ activities are carried out, the Government does not respond to the safety of citizens.

Given all this, it almost seems like just dessert for the BJP. On a purely ideological level, if somebody wants to watch porn, it is their individual concern. I would normally be unconcerned about what they have done – except for that fact that when somebody moralizes such a lot, and then they end up doing something like this, then they deserve everything that has been happening to them. What did happen ? Well, the cameras caught 2 ministers of the BJP Government watching a porn clip on their mobiles when the house was in session; and the news channels kept on showing this event. The opposition parties got a great chance on their side to push the Government for removing these ministers, and the third minister who provided this clipping also came under tremendous pressure to resign. On the same day, the BJP high command had to take the heat off the Government and decided to get the ministers to resign, although the opposition refused to let go and wanted these 3 to resign from being MLA’s; something that the BJP would not let happen, since the strength of the Government would decline.

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