Thursday, April 18, 2024

BJP’s pragmatic move


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Political parties don’t just fight elections to make a point. They fight to win and the BJP’s national vice president and Meghalaya in-charge, M Chuba Ao is correct is stating that the BJP would not waste resources in states where it is unlikely to win and there are about 164 seats in the country where the party had been contesting but had not won in the past. This is a strategic step taken by a Party that is determined to win every seat it puts up candidates from. Besides, the NPP is an ally of the BJP and has proven to be a reliable ally at that. For the BJP, it’s better that a seat or several seats go to allies rather than the Congress. This is the second term that the NPP has aligned with the BJP in the state. Chuba Ao has stated upfront that the two seats in Meghalaya – the Shillong and Tura parliamentary seats are among the weak seats. The highest number of votes that the BJP secured in the Shillong seat was 95,000 while the second highest was around 75,000 votes. Similarly in Tura, the BJP got only around 33,000 votes. The BJP leadership states that the vote share had not increased in the last Assembly elections. What Chuba Ao stated categorically and it is something that the state BJP leadership should be introspecting on is that if the BJP contests then the votes might split between the NPP and BJP and the Congress might just slip through. Without the BJP contesting the NPP votes would be consolidated. BJP supporters would also be told to support the NPP candidates in both seats.
Other than empty rhetoric Chuba Ao has spoken directly that the BJP’s withdrawal from the electoral race in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram is mainly to keep the Congress in check. There is no place for political one-upmanship in elections. Strategic action and realistic calculations matter for a party that is determined to rule the country for the third term irrespective of the grubby electoral bond scheme, the abuse of security agencies like the CBI and ED to go after political rivals and several other unsavoury tactics. The BJP National Vice President seems to know the tribal mind better than most when he said that there may be resentment among party workers for a few days for not setting up candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats but they will soon get over it. Spoken like a real leader!
The BJP in Meghalaya has suffered a leadership vacuum. A leader is known for his/her outstanding qualities and the ability to lead. In the past and even the present the BJP leadership in Meghalaya leaves a lot to be desired. It is not known as to what the criteria set by the BJP is to head its party in the states but in Meghalaya the BJP seems to have erred repeatedly in nominating/electing a state president when there are more capable people waiting in the wings! Or is it a case of choosing a leader that passes the trial by fire test. The BJP central leadership would know best!

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