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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 39 New Delhi September 15, 2018

Amit Shah’s Antics Compound BJP’s Woes

Saturday 15 September 2018, by SC



Regardless of whatever the country’s major newspapers are seeking to project, the Bharat Bandh call of all the major Opposition parties led by the Congress on September 10 evoked considerable response across the national landscape thus giving ample testimony to the anti-government mood of the public due mainly to the fuel price hike as well as the agrarian distress with the Congress’ propaganda campaign on the issue of graft connected with the Rafale deal also being a contributory factor to the anti-BJP sentiment among the people at large. This growing sentiment must be a cause of worry for the ruling party at the Centre, never mind the braggadocio of the chief of the BJP at its National Executive meet that the party over which he presides would stay in power for the next 50 years. Such a fantastic claim not only reveals the gentleman’s anti-democratic outlook (also manifest in his affront to the memory of one of the prime victims of mob-violence originating from the Sangh Parivar, Mohmmad Akhlaq, and insult to the noted personalities who returned their awards they had won over the years as a token of protest against the assault on the secular-democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution). However, such outbursts are also a laboured attempt to conceal the sense of fear that has gripped persons in the higher echelons of the BJP-RSS for the prospect of its losing power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is not in the least a figment of one’s fertile imagination but quite real in the prevailing circumstances.

What is noteworthy is that the BJP President’s language at the party rally in Jaipur on September 11 has provoked at least some sections of the media to come out with a positive response. As The Indian Express unambiguously pointed out without mincing words,

 ...if Shah’s sharpened focus in Jaipur on a set of issues Akhlaq lynching, Bangladeshi immigrants, National Register of Citizens, surgical strikes on Pakistan, and a national pride that feeds on the rhetoric of urban Naxals is indication, the 2019 die has been cast in favour of a BJP that is a harder, narrower version of itself. While sabka saath, sabka vikas may always have been more slogan less policy, it will sit ever more uneasily with the kind of party that was glimpsed in its President’s speeches in Jaipur.

Meanwhile, the subsequent developments have placed the ruling party on the defensive. These relate to what transpired between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and fugitive Vijay Mallya in Parliament a day before the latter fled to London in March 2016. The fact is that with every passing day the BJP is getting cornered. The unprecedented fuel price hike only added to the woes of the ruling party at the Centre in the wake of the persisting distress of the farmers, mounting insecurity among the Muslims, rising assertion of the Dalits against the backdrop of incessant attacks on them. Amit Shah’s antics have compounded the party’s problems.

September 13S.C.

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