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BJP in the throes of internal troubles, unable to capitalize on the Congress disarray




If somebody was to look at the current situation in the BJP, probably the only positive that could be seen about the current problems besetting the BJP is that there are still 2 years to go for the next general elections, and if there was a time when the BJP could afford (actually it can’t afford this kind of disarray and drift, but for the moment let us assume that it can) to go through a leadership struggle, it is better to do this now rather than in the time much closer to the elections. However, this is not the time to go through an internal period of warfare and appear much weaker, but that is the way things are appearing right now.
There is a titanic leadership struggle inside the BJP, but the broad contours of the struggle are not so self evident. What is clear that the leadership of the tallest leader of the BJP, LK Advani has been greatly diminished, to the extent that a lot of decisions taken by the BJP are without his consultation, and approval. His downfall was on the basis of multiple events, the chief of which was the expression of confidence in Jinnah when he visited Pakistan (and for which there was a furious reaction from the RSS), compounded by his inability to increase the vote share of the BJP and bring it near to power in the last elections in 2009. As a result, the RSS practically pushed in a new leadership in the BJP in the shape of Nitin Gadkari, with the hope that he will get a clear and coherent strategy and manage to revive the BJP.

However, there are a number of secondary leaders inside the BJP who will not walk over so easily to give leadership position to anybody, starting with Narendra Modi, followed by Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, and Gadkari himself; and of course, Advani has never given up his dreams of being the PM candidate (although no one else now sees that happening again). For now, easily the most powerful is Narendra Modi. The BJP has a number of chief ministers, but out of them, only Modi is the one who is the one who is now a national figure, easily able to whip up huge emotions, both positive and negative.
Modi remains tainted with the blood of the victims of the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, and is seen as untouchable by many of the current and potential allies of the BJP. Such powerful allies such as Nitish Kumar right now seem as totally against Modi, not letting Narendra Modi campaign in Bihar. Allies of the BJP would remember the case of Naveen Patnaik who broke off the alliance with the BJP but did not a suffer a bit because of that, coming to power again by trouncing both the BJP and the Congress.
However, within the BJP, he is seen as an extremely powerful figure, capable of bending the central leadership to his diktat when he feels strongly over something, such as forcing the removal of Sanjay Joshi from the BJP. He has cultivated an image that shows him as a champion of development, over-riding red tape, and a forceful figure who does what he wants (and this includes his removal of the influence of the RSS and VHP against him). Yet, he is also facing opposition from many quarters inside the state, and is also seeing a number of media articles seeking to puncture his record as a person who has drastically increased the development speed of Gujrat.
Now, for those who are supporters of the BJP, or hate the BJP less than the Congress, there is a hope that the BJP comes to its senses soon, and starts capitalizing on the large number of opportunities that the Congress keeps on throwing up, opportunities that a properly led opposition should be able to take maximum benefit out of. Only if they are seen to be doing so can the BJP hope to gain more allies and be near a winning position.




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