BJP election failure

What next for the BJP?

Staunch BJP supporter and apparently one of the brains and executors of the Friends of BJP blog, Rajesh Jain, has a series of posts on his own blog, analysing first, the Congress success and then systematically analysing the BJP’s failure.

The BJP now faces a clear fork in the road. Either it has to become more Hindu-oriented and thus aim to win the majority Hindu vote, or it needs to discard its religious overtones and become a clear right of centre party. The former is not going to be easy since that is where the roots of the party lie, and the latter will end up making it look almost like a clone of the Congress without any cadre support.

After this, he looks ahead in a multi-part series of posts: constructive ideas for where the BJP should head. A robust democracy needs a strong Opposition, hence the relevance of these particular posts on this particular blog.

The first of his posts on this theme here: What Next for the BJP?


  1. After UP elections I had written on my blog that BJP is making a huge mistake by taking the UP verdict lightly. No attempt was made to find out why BJP did so badly in the elections instead amusing excuses were given. One of the excuses was that people wanted to vote out Mulayam so even the die hard BJP supporter voted for Mayawati.

    By saying so they willfully ignored the significance of this verdict. With the press of a button a baggage of thousand years was removed. It has been the rule that dalits vote for Brahmans to keep them in power not the other way round. Think about all the prejudice that have to be overcome. To explain this paradigm shift BJP leaders gave a self-fooling explanation. If Brahmans had voted for BSP than it was not just that they wanted to vote out Mulayam but something else. I think it was because of lack of alternative. I think Brahmans have left BJP for good and lot of work is needed to be done to find out why? Brahmans were angry with BJP and they did not see any other viable alternative so they voted for BSP. But during these LS elections they saw a resurgent congress. They could feel that a chunk of Muslim vote was shifting towards it so the congress became that alternative that they were looking for. I feel that this Brahman vote will consolidate further with Congress and more Muslims will join it and Congress might emerge the single largest party in next UP assembly elections with BSP coming close second.

    The BJP will get marginalized and might come distant fourth in that elections. As far as SP is concerned lot has been said in the media about Muslims deserting SP because of Kalyan Singh. I don’t agree with this. Last time when Kalyan Singh had joined Mulayam, the latter had kept a comfortable distance from him. But this time there was no such prudence. On the contrary Kalyan Singh openly campaigned for SP. Mulayam is a very experienced and cunning politician he would not make that mistake. He might take tactical help from Kalyan but will not risk his biggest support group(after Yadavs) for him. I have a hunch that Mulayam already knew that Muslims are drifting away from him and Kalyan was brought to compensate those drifters with the lodh votes. It is due to this vote bank SP was able to prevent a disaster. Actually SP did pretty well and ended up being single largest party.

    The reason why I am writing in this forum is not to dishearten supporters of BJP, for I am one of them, but to shake the party out of denial mood. The same foolish excuses are being forwarded again. Some of the excuses are that people voted for national parties or people voted for stability and thought UPA can provide that or caste is increasingly becoming meaningless. I do not think any of this is correct.

    How can you explain that Mayawati got highest percentage of vote in UP followed by SP, both thrives on caste based politics. RJD was only 5% behind JD(U). BSP and SP have retained their caste based vote bank the only votes that seems to have shifted are that of Muslims, upper caste and urban voters and all these have shifted towards congress. I agree with Mr Jashwant Singh that an honest introspection is needed.

    The biggest problem with BJP today is that no one seems to have any authority. There are three ways of effectively running the party, as far as I can think. 1st and the worst form is hierarchical where only one family has right to lead congress is the most appropriate example of this form of leadership. The 2nd is a dictatorial type where one person has dictatorial power and decides every thing for the party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Lalu Yadav represent this type of leadership. The 3rd and the best form is the democratic party where the leader of party is selected by the party workers verdict. In all these form there is a leader who can take decision and his decisions are respected by everyone. Unfortunately, BJP represent none of these systems. It is democratic enough to allow top leaders to question and fight among themselves but there is no democracy in selection of these big leaders. Most of the BJP’s top leadership is miles away from common man and common party worker. These leaders are not elected by workers so they are not answerable to them. A democratically elected leader commands authority but because there is no real democracy so no one commands that authority. That’s why we have so many leaders fighting among themselves and working as individuals and fulfilling their own individual ambitions.

    I hope BJP will wake up from this denial mode and do what should be done to make it a party with a difference and not the party with lot of differences.

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