Saturday, March 29, 2014

BJP’s impatience for power

To get power by hook or by crook has been the ultimate aim of every political party. No matter how elections are won, they have to be won at all costs. The main opposition party BJP in whose favour 10 years of anti-incumbency factor of the UPA government is going in this general election is in upbeat mood. It inducts every leader of consequence without checking his or her background to win elections. A few days back, Hindu Sena Chief Pramod Muttalik was inducted in the BJP by its Karnataka unit without taking national leadership into confidence. It was done only to boost votes for the BJP to win elections. But when nationwide hue and cry over induction of controversial leader raised against whom there was a charge of vandalizing the pub and attacking the women, the central leadership swung into action and annuled his membership of the party. This incident shows that the BJP wants to win elections even at the cost of compromising with the ideology. The same incident occurred on Friday when the expelled controversial JD (U) leader Sabir Ali was inducted into the party at the recommendation of the Bihar unit. Just after Sabir Ali’s induction, the voice of opposition to his entry raised from within the party. It was raised by none other than one of the most senior leaders and minority face of the party Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. He called Sabir Ali the friend of dreaded IM terrorist Bhatkal, and also made critical comment on the party leadership in his tweet that after Sabir Ali, the underworld don and India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim could also join the BJP. It is not only Naqvi but several other senior BJP leaders and party’s doting parent Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) have already expressed displeasure over Sabir Ali’s induction into the party. This amply reflects that there is deep anguish and disquiet among the senior BJP leaders over the entry of controversial expelled JD(U) leader in the party. It is correct that Sabir Ali is a Muslim leader and his induction into the party would atract Muslim minority towards it in the election time. But when his personality is controversial and his entry into the party would give the message among the public that when the question of votes arises, BJP is no different from the Congress party and it has also no qualm in compromising even with its core ideology. Fight against terrorism has been the main party plank on which it seeks vote in elections. But when BJP leaders themselves question the credentials of the new entrant on the issue of terrorism, how would the general people believe its commitment to fight against terrorism. Apart from the controversial political background, Sabir Ali never tired of attacking BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi when he was in JD(U). He was the most vocal voice in JD(U) against Narendra Modi. BJP must have thought twice before inducting Sabir Ali into the party. Its blindness to reason in pursuit of winning elections will ultimately alienate lakhs of committed cadres and workers.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Face saver for Advani

The way BJP is behaving with its patriarch is wrong and sending the clear message that all is not well within the party. Everything may be right in fight for power, but not in terms of behaviour with the seniormost leader. It is nothing but the power struggle in the open. Infighting for getting power within Bhartiya Janta Party among senior leaders is not new. Advani should know that his marginalisation in the BJP began with party's fountainhead RSS taking side with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Since the appointment of Narendra Modi as Election Committee Chairman against the wishes of Party’s patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, it became open that a section of senior leaders is against Modi’s emergence for top post. Advani in a fit of anger resigned from all party posts and wrote a letter to Party president Rajnath Singh expressing his displeasure over ongoing activities in it and its deviation from its path. Anyhow Advani was mollified for the time being and he withdrew his resignation. After that, Narendra Modi was made PM candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and this decision had full backing of BJP’s doting parent Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh( RSS). Despite the fact that BJP cannot move even an inch without the approval of RSS, Advani failed to realize that Modi’s emergence for the top post of prime ministership of the nation if ever the party won Lok Sabha elections has RSS blessing. Advani has also failed to realize that generational shift is taking place in the party very fast and it has come to know that it cannot win power under his leadership. He is also no longer the blue-eyed boy of RSS. It is also a fact that Advani has been nursing the ambition of prime ministership. Undoubtedly, he is not only the tallest leader of the BJP after the retirement of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but also of the nation. So the BJP must pay utmost respect to him. Otherwise, a message will go out in the public that when the party does not respect to its senior most leader, what it will do with the nation. Advani also understands that 10 years of anti-incumbency of the ruling Congress will go in favour of the main opposition BJP. It is also a fact that BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi has galvanized the public through his vigorous campaigning all over the nation against corruption and price rise during 10 years of UPA rule. His encouraging speech has made the party workers all over the nation upbeat. Both the BJP leadership and the RSS must realize the displeasure of the party’s patriarch off and on does not augur well for the party despite Modi’s wave as claimed by it in this Lok Sabha election. BJP’s patriarch has been representing Gandhinagar seat in the Lok Sabha since 91. He has won five times from Gandhinagar since 1991. This time amidst apprehension of Modimen going against him there to damage his election prospect, Advani showed reluctance to stand from there and expressed his desire to fight from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat in MP. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is considered to be his loyalist, and in the present scenario of the party MP CM is more reliable than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for Advani. But as RSS is not on the side of Advani any longer, he had to bow to party’s wishes to fight from Gandhinagar seat. Though RSS succeeds so far in dousing the fire in BJP, horrible fire is yet to erupt in the party over the issue of prime ministership if ever it wins Lok Sabha elections.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A big flop show

It has become a fashion among our politicians that before every Lok Sabha election all chief ministers of opposition parties in different states start taking initiatives to form a front of like-minded political parties to stake claim for the post of Prime Minister if ever hung Lok Sabha would be thrown up. Undoubtedly, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamul Congress boss Mamata Bannerji moved in this way and started advocating of forming a Federal Front to realize her prime ministerial ambition after the Lok Sabha elections. To take her prime ministerial ambition to the logical end, she got the support of noted social activist Anna Hazare all of a sudden. Anna Hazare, social activist and anti-corruption crusader, who stirred the people of the nation and forced the Manmohan Singh government to pass Lokpal Bill to combat corruption, wrote letters to 17 political parties inscribing in it some valuable points to check corruption but no one except Mamata Bannerji responded to his letter and that is why he offered his support to her Trinamul Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. This is the first time Anna had offered his support to any political party of the country. It is on the issue of forming political party the differences between his former lieutenant, most obedient disciple and former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that the separation between the two took place. Anna and Kejriwal chose their own ways. Arvind Kejriwal ultimately formed a political outfit Aam Admi Party (AAP), which won Delhi assembly elections and formed government, though it lasted only 49 days. Anna was the most popular personality in India as long as he fought against corruption by being apolitical. His apolitical status appealed the youths most and because of this he became the most popular anti-corruption crusader of the nation. But once he sided with a political party - Mamata's Trinamul Congress, he no longer remained apolitical and lost some support. His coming on TV channels in an advertisement appealing the countrymen to support Mamata Bannerjee also did not go well with the general public. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerji failed to understand that Anna was icon among the youths and general people as long as he remained apolitical. People extended him massive support to fight against corruption, and not for favouring this or that political party. No chief minister belonging to state-based political party can pull the crowd in national capital New Delhi at a meeting without proper canvassing and propaganda. Anna Hazare seems to have gauzed the people’s response to Mamata’s rally in advance and expressed his inability to participate in the meeting on health ground. He may have fallen ill suddenly as he is old and feeble, but his absence at the meeting embarrassed Mamata Bannerji most. It was necessary also for Mamata to address the empty chairs to realize the fact that she is not as much popular as in her home state West Bengal. It also reflects that she needs to remain in Bengal for years before aspiring for the post of prime minister.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Internal tussle over ticket distribution in BJP

With the approaching of the Lok Sabha elections, every political parties are busy with distribution of tickets to candidates to contest elections. All are facing problems with this task and internal tussle among the candidates to get the choicest seats have come into open. Leaving one party and joining another by politicians is a normal development when elections are at hand. Every political party faces this problem. As far as the internal tussle in the main opposition party the Bhartiya Janata Party over ticket distribution is concerned, it has come into open. The way senior leaders in BJP were sidelined and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was projected as PM candidate has made the reality amply clear and gives clear signal that the days of elders in the party are numbered. But they are not prepared to hang their boots up if the tone and tenure of one of the most senior BJP leaders and former party president Murli Manohar Joshi at his press conference about the media speculation that his Varanasi Lok Sabha seat is being given to PM candidate Narendra Modi to make his victory sure and certain is anything to go by, it is clear that he is inclined to fight from Varanasi and not in a mood to leave for any one. Likewise, BJP MP Lalji Tandon from Lucknow has already made it clear that he is not going to leave the seat for party president Rajnath Singh to contest from there. There are reports in media that Rajnath Singh presently representing Ghaziabad is in a mood to contest this time from Lucknow. Undoubtedly, anti-incumbency factor of UPA is going in favour of BJP-led NDA. If the opinion polls and different surveys are anything to go by, BJP is far ahead of UPA in the coming Lok Sabha elections. With Narendra Modi as BJP PM candidate, his forceful and convincing speech and his attack on Congress-led UPA against corruption and price rise have certainly stirred the people to vote for change of the government at the Centre. But as the internal bickering has been the bane of BJP, which has already proved disastrous for the party in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, it appears that this time it is also heading to meet the same fate if the problems of ticket distribution are not sorted out amicably without any loss of time. BJP openly claims that there is Modi wave in the nation. If that is so on the ground, why its PM candidate Modi himself is looking for a safe LS seat. He is the prime ministerial candidate and if onion polls are anything to go by, he is also the first choice for prime ministership. He can contest from anywhere and win to prove his popularity. Whatever Naredra Modi wave is in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, BJP senior leaders also want to take advantage of it and that is why they are reluctant to leave the seats which are considered party’s bastions. The need of the hour for BJP is to present united face before the people in Lok Sabha elections. Otherwise, all its claims of wave will fizzle out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Right reason behind refusal

Retired Supreme Court Judge K T Thomas has rightly refused to head Lokpal Search Panel on the ground of its futility. It is correct to say that when there is need or need not to accept search panel recommendation by the Select Committee, it is a futile exercise. The search panel recommendation has no binding on select panel. So, it is not worthwhile to head the search panel. Eminent jurist Fali Nariman has already opted out of the panel on the ground that the best would be get overlooked. The resignations of these two eminent jurists cast doubt on the intention of the government. Lokpal Select Committee consists of Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Lok Sabha Speaker, Supreme Court Judge and eminent jurist. The Select Committee would recommend name to President to give his assent for the appointment of the top anti-corruption watch dog Lokpal against corruption. The appointment of Lokpal had been hanging in balance since 1968 when it was initiated for the first time in Parliament. The ground reality behind its being hanging in balance for so long time is that no government at the Centre irrespective of political party was inclined to appoint top anti-corruption watch dog Lokpal. When the protests were launched all over India under the leadership of social activist Anna Hazare that galvanized the people against corruption, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II government was forced to act. In August 2011, the protest against corruption was so strong in Delhi under the leadership Anna Hazare in Delhi, who sat on fast unto death at Ramlila Maidan for Jan Lokpal(Lokpal), that the entire Parliament saluted him and assured of introducing the Lokpal Bill. The protests against corruption were so strong that it appeared as if entire Delhi came out on the streets in support of the protesters. It is not only in Delhi Anna Hazare campaign against corruption also galvanized the entire nation equally. It appeared as if a wave was blowing across the nation against corruption. Realizing the anger of the people, both the ruling and opposition parties agreed in principle to introduce and pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Parliament passed it and the nation hoped to get it finally. But as the transparency and impartiality in the process of appointment of Lokpal is suspect, there may be once again a long wait. Justice Thomas and jurist Nariman have resigned from Search Panel. Retired Justice Thomas refusal to head the search panel is right because when there is no binding of its recommendation on the Select Panel, what is its utility? Government must make its intention clear. Otherwise, the appointment of Lokpal will remain elusive.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Evolve self-correcting mechanism

In the recent days, lots of paid news have come to light. There is an allegation that some media organizations are publishing paid news to boost their finance. This is very bad. Media has a great role and responsibility in building a nation. It is the eyes and ears of the people. Neutrality must be maintained by all media houses at all costs. Media person and organization must not be pro or anti-government. They must always be pro-people. They must publish news articles in an impartial ways. They should always be unbiased towards any issue confronting the society. Every news article must be weighed and be given prominence according to its informative, social and national value. Press is the watch dog of society. If it resorts to paid news for mopping up its finance, what will happen to society? It makes opinion against and in favour of any issue. So, its impartiality must be kept intact. Paid news is meant to serve the interest of an individual or organization. So, any encouragement to paid news by some publications will jeopardize their credibility. To check publishing of paid news, self correcting mechanism is the best way. First of all, media has the responsibility to give the nation a direction how to deal with the burning issues like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and uneven development in society. Press is the fourth estate so it can also not connive with its responsibility of nation building. It is not a shop of consumer goods always eyeing on profit by packaging them attractively. Media must not be marketised and it should not operate at the direction of Corporate. Media is the voice of the voiceless. So, it must bring out issues of poverty and underdevelopment in society before the government of the day and hold debate and discussion on them to find out their solutions in the best way. Press must bring the news as it is before the people but must not put with the intention of serving the interest of a particular person or organization. In the age of breaking news at every minute, the mediamen are in so made haste to break it before the people so to be ahead of all other media organizations, they do not care to know about its authencity. To produce a news story in a sensational way is also not good. This type of news create panic and fear among the people. President Pranab Mukherjee has rightly voiced his concern over the practice of paid news by some publications to mop up revenue.