ANICA MANN KAPUR | 11 FEBRUARY, 2015
Are BJP Candidates Sore Losers?
ANICA MANN KAPUR
As you will notice both articles are heavily apologetic, to claim a reasonable cause for the BJP’s loss justifying it a thought out political move by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi. I, through the course of this article intend to highlight some escapist statements made by the author Bobby Naqvi; Special to Gulf News.
The gulf new article states in its opening line that “the state will remain a headache due to intra-party bickerings and because of impatient voters.” Lets address the word ‘impatient voters’. Yes the voters in the country are impatient. It is a big country and has a lot of problems to fix, we need to see immediate result. This country needs to be impatient like that to keep a check on this democratic process. With Arvind Kejriwal’s 49 day rule during his first term as Chief Minister, with shelters for the homeless, distinct drop in corruption, and fiscal terms the city saw visible growth and progress on many fronts. With Prime Minister Modi coming to power we still await to see tangible changes. He started the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan a long time ago, but still the country is an environmental mess, with no standards of hygiene anywhere.
The second quote I want to pick up here is “this will divert attention of the people who are getting restless from Modi’s inability to deliver on his election promises.” India is still awaiting the 15 lakhs in their personal bank accounts, the prime minister promised as a result of bringing back black money. Developments to bring back the black money are certainly in play but the hollow promise made by Mr. Modi is now openly ridiculed by his own ministers. BJP chief Amit Shah, also Modi’s famous right hand man during elections and riots (reference to Godhra Riots) on an exclusive interview with ABP News defended Narendra Modi on being regularly attacked by the opposition for promising Rs 15 Lakh to be deposited in the bank accounts of all Indians. In this exclusive interview Amit Shah said that Modi’s statement during the Lok Sabha poll campaigning was just a political jumbla or an idiomatic expression. The thought behind it was to recover the money and use it for the development of the poor. Arun Jaitley also ridiculed the baseless promise of his leader saying it is not possible and never has been possible.
I wonder what plans the government has for this money. As copious amounts are being revealed which can definitely be put to very good use in the country, if it escapes the hands of BJP leaders. I say that, as the amount has been constantly changing in the media.
And now here is a plea from someone who cannot reach you through any other medium- my house help:
Dear Pradhan Mantri Modiji,
I am a man with a wife and two young children who voted for you not understanding the tall metaphorical promises you were making, regarding money. And now I feel cheated. When I watched this interview by Amit Shah I chose to vote for AAP. I also chose to vote for AAP when I saw the poster hung in my neighbourhood where you called Kejriwal ji a bhagoda. I wondered why you din’t instead speak of your triumphs so far. I now thinks you have betrayed me and my family and are only interested in dining with political leaders around the world, challenging famous people to clean their neighbourhood and tweeting. While you enjoy the luxuries of your new position, I still slogs in the cold and the heat, with a bank account- empty! Just like your promises.
The article reported in Gulf News also quotes how this new spotlight on the former bhagodaKejriwal will give breathing room to Narendra Modi. First of all the mudslinging posters by BJP called him a bhagoda literally meaning a runner. This title according to me is more appropriate for Kiran Bedi a former AAP supporter. She ran away from one party to another looking for an opportunity to gain power. And Arvind Kejriwal was the man who kept his word. He declared in a Barkha Dutt interview on NDTV that he would quit if the Jan Lokpal Bill did not pass. This was his key goal and if not attained he would step down. The bill got denied and the man did not even hesitate for a moment and kept his word. So calling him abhagoda is cheap mudslinging, an accusation BJP should get used to.
With the upcoming budget some unpleasant decisions are underway and the media spotlight on the Kejriwal with allow the BJP to push through controversial reforms such as the disinvestments of Public Sector Undertakings, Budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit. (By the way anyone heard from Smriti Irani recently? The vocal ‘educationist’ has been silenced for future undertakings). With the Oprah style budget Jaitley spoke of last year with 100 crores distributed among various sections of businesses, this year one has to be keen observer to notice how the country plans to forge ahead, and also cope with the media cover that BJP uses every once in a while. (Read this)
BJP has also controlled the city-state’s civic bodies for years but failed miserably, hence Kejriwal coming to power would be a convenient shift of blame. It will be no surprise if Kejriwal is strong armed every step of the way by the central government, as most of the country’s elite are now officially under question, through the anti corruption officer rising to cause and secondly their workings so far will be finally deemed hollow and directionless.
Ravish Kumar’s interview clearly showed how the people of Delhi had begun to understand the BJP as a party that serves the elite, dining with world leaders, jetting around the globe and leading with a fashion statement. With Kiran Bedi’s elitist attitude exuding over confident with her latest alliance, people lost faith in the BJP as rapidly as they did find solace in them last year. It was Kejriwal who smiled though all hurdles, worked and toiled in the heat and cold, and did not bother with publicity or say in any matter whatsoever, other than governance and talking to the people to expand his governance compendium to address issues from constituency to constituency without wasting time and establishing redundant SITs.
The only development that has taken force in the country under the BJP rule is communal homogenisation, terms like Love Jihad and Ghar Wapsi being thrown about and direct attacks on religious institutions like the church in Delhi.
Whatever may be the motive, Kiran Bedi was a strong candidate the best among the chosen lot, a big statement for a city like Delhi, someone equipped to address security in the city as the first woman IPS officer. Let’s face it, She was the best BJP could do. But despite all the cards played right by BJP I believe it was Arvind Kejriwal’s arduous hardwork since the day he resigned that won him this victory. The BJP now believes media houses have 2 faces Modi and Kejriwal to criticize. BJP knows this will surely save Modi from being the only target of media & mass criticism. Let me correct this misconception - this will not be possible owing to the big blunders RSS is making by not addressing the obvious communal activities taking root prior to the UP and Bihar elections, two of the most important states to gain Rajya Sabha seats for BJP.
It is now time for the people to take account of their leaders and see the progress they are making in their jobs. Our job was to to vote for them which we did and we did so very smartly. We have given the two radical parties the gift of power, a beautiful office and the luxurious lifestyle of comfort through our taxes to lead the country to development. They are now accountable to us. Let us make it clear to them we are not interested in political manoeuvres to gain office but in the simple act of work. Let not further election take Mr Narendra Modi away from the job in office he should be doing. Its time you leave rallies to your capable team and do the job you have been elected for.
(Anica Mann Kapur is currently reading the MPhil in Classical Indian Religion at the University of Oxford).