Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Will Jitin Prasada make any difference

  • BJP proved its is unprincipled party
  • Have Rahul, Priyanka decided not to care for other dynasts

Jitin Prasada has finally joined the BJP in the presence of JP Nadda, party president. It was a question of when and not whether or not in the case of Prasada, the third generation politician from Prasada dynasty. He has been contemplating the switchover for almost two years. A green signal from the saffron party was all that was needed for the Brahmin leader to walk over to the BJP. He was recently sent to Bengal by the Congress party high command to help the party win some seats. He came back scoring a duck. It was not his fault at all. But the Bengal assignment was given to him in spite of the suspicion that he would not stay in the Congress for long. Why did Prasada get a go ahead from the BJP now and why not earlier?

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Jitin is alone

Jitin was one of the 23 senior leaders of the Congress who wrote the controversial letter to Sonia Gandhi asking for a visible face to run the party fulltime. Is there anyone else among the group following Jiten? Most unlikely. Senior leader Kapil Sibbal said it would happen only over his dead body. The question is not whether any member of the group is prepared to jump onto the BJP bandwagon. The question is whether BJP would like any of them to join the party.  Only those who are needed by the BJP would courted. Why was Jitin needed by the BJP now?

Uttar Pradesh politics are dominated by the BJP, the SP, the BSP and the Congress in that order. Though there is considerable dissatisfaction with Yogi Adityanath, he is likely to stay the course until the next Assembly elections due in seven months. SP, BSP and the Congress are represented by Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Priyanka Gandhi. What permutations and combinations are likely to emerge between now and the elections is a matter of conjecture as of now. The chances of any and every party would be known only after the battle lines are drawn.

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Saffron team tour UP for feedback

Now that the assembly elections are fast approaching, representatives of the BJP and its mentor RSS have toured the State recently. UP is extremely important for national politics because of its sheer numbers. The team of leaders tried to get feedback from the party functionaries and local RSS leaders. Yogi Adityanath is a Modi of UP. Like Narendra Modi, he does not consult anyone either before taking a decision or after the decision to get feedback. He is not a routine politician. BJP General Secretary BL Santosh and another senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, UP in-charge, who met Governor Anandiben Patel, had met a number of MLAs and organizational leaders. They understand that there is a lot of resentment against Yogi Adityanath, 49.  

In 2017, the BJP got 300 out of the total 403 seats in UP Assembly. That was the mandate given to Narendra Modi, not to Yogi who was not in the picture at that time. He was the fifth time MP. Since there were groups in UP, the leaders in Delhi and Nagpur wanted a strong, no-nonsense leader to control the groups and act above group loyalties. They selected Yogi Adityanath whose allegiance is more to the Gorakhpur matt and the Hindu Vaahini, a youth organization, rather than to BJP or RSS. The saffron-wearing priest has been indulging in Hindutva politics and strong arm tactics beside winning elections. Moving him from chief minister’s chair is most unlikely. But some course correction measures would be taken.

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Yogi: Poor administrator, strong Hindutva icon

The team had concluded that the Brahmin community in UP, which is 10 to 13 per cent of the population, is upset with Yogi Adityanath. The way gangster Vikas Dubey,  a Brahmin, was killed in an encounter in July last year caused some pain to a little section of the community. But the way Adityanath has been promoting people of his caste, Thakurs (Kshatriyas), had upset the Brahmins. The saffron priest-cum-politician is poor in administration. His management of the second wave of Covid was found wanting. The dead bodies floating over the Ganges and Yamuna had wrecked his reputation as a leader of the biggest State. Though he claimed repeatedly that the situation was under control, the ground reality is exactly the opposite. In appointments and decisions he is seen favouring the Thakur lobby. However, Yogi’s Hindutva credentials are very strong. He was the only chief minister who goes to campaign in other States like Bihar or West Bengal. Otherwise, only three national leaders- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda – are seen campaigning in the States where election are held. Yogi is considered as a successor to Modi for the post of prime minister. So asking him to step aside is difficult. The Brahmins have to be humoured. That is the reason why Modi had deputed his confidante AK Sarma to UP. The other measure was admitting Jitin Prasada with a hope that it would please the Brahmin lobby.

Also read: Nehru, a visionary statesman

What happened to principles?

No doubt, Jitin’s defection is a loss for the Congress party especially when the State is about  to go  polls. Neither Rahul nor Priyanka, who is in charge of UP, tried to stop Jitin. Why? Nehru-Gandhi scions perhaps thought they better let the dynasts go out of the party. When Rahul was president of the party he  was surrounded by young persons who went to Doon school or studied abroad and settled down in Delhi. Leaders like Jyothiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasada are from political dynasties. Scindia dynasty is next only to Nehru-Gandhi dynasty as far as power and politics are concerned. Rahul was doing everything to keep his pals happy. But when Jyothiraditya Scindia crossed over to the BJP and Sachin had almost defected imperiling the Rajasthan government, Rahul and his sister must have thought of letting the other dynasts leave the party and move over to the party which claimed to be a party of principles, a party that is against political dynasts and to the politicians used to the comforts of Lutyen’s Delhi. The party ended up inviting all the three and admitting two of the three Rahul’s chums throwing the principles to the wind.

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Opportunistic politics by Modi, Shah

What Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have been doing since 2014 was nothing but opportunistic politics. Weather it was in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or Northeastern States, it is power and money that were used to fell the governments ruled by opposition parties. The Congress high command’s lack of efforts and resistance had made their job much easier. When they faced resistance either in Rajasthan or West Bengal, they lost the battle proving that they are not invincible. Try they would by all means, fair and foul.

The Congress should take care of its own leaders. The threat is not from outside. It is from within. The grand old party has to take decisions fast regarding the leadership, transparency, inclusiveness and the spirit of give-and-take. The future of the party depends on its decision regarding party’s helmsman,  Sachin Pilot and Capt. Amarinder Singh.

Also read: Sorry, Shailaja Teacher!

K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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