BJP and faceless CMs
The BJP, having emerged as the largest political establishment in recent years, is yet to form itself into a strong, cohesive force. It worked in the past on the charms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is an old story now. Proof of the party’s ills is also the manner in which it is changing its chief ministers. In a matter of about two months, it has changed three chief ministers perhaps because they failed to win the confidence of the people. There could be other factors at work too. Ruefully, the party is failing to ensure political stability even as it held majority support in assemblies and parliament.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani is asked to step down when elections are a little more than a year away. Karnataka’s Yeddiyurappa was replaced midway through the government’s term; Uttarakhand saw a change of two CMs in a short span of a few months. One who is unassailable is Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, who has a strong public profile. Most of the rest look up to Delhi for their sustenance. Clearly, change of CMs midway through the five-year term affects the smooth functioning of a government. In Gujarat, hints are that the assembly polls there could be advanced to have it held simultaneously with the polls in UP and a string of other states where elections are due early next year. Significantly, the BJP could no longer wait even for a few more months with Rupani as the head of government.
The chief minister is the principal face of the ruling party. But most BJP chief ministers have no face at all. It was proven that Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot charm the people and get their votes for the BJP in assembly polls. The lack of a strong leader in the Opposition ranks helps the Modi show going at the Centre. This is not the case with most states where heavyweights are leading the Opposition parties. Fact is, other than in UP, no BJP state government has been able to create positive vibes. Not so the non-BJP governments. Mamata Banerjee proved the huge support she enjoys in the assembly polls this year. In Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin as chief minister is making waves by initiating several new schemes; so too with the YSRC government in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and the KCR government in Telangana. Amarinder Singh as chief minister in Punjab and Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi stand out with their leadership qualities. What of the BJP, in this respect, is worth a loud thought!