Friday, December 27, 2013

6 Has AAP derailed Modi's campaign? By Chetan Bhagat - The Times of India | 2 comments by Ghulam Muhammed

My comments posted on Times of India article: Has AAP derailed Modi's campaign?

kalpin (Vadodara) says:
December 28,2013 at 10:17 AM IST 27 Followers
Gold : 7909
I think CB is making a valid point.. It's true that Mr Modi is miles ahead, but AK is capturing imagination of many who are sick & tired of corrupt congress.. And they will perceive that BJP & congress are the same, if BJP reacts to AK in a similar manner as congress is reacting.. BJP's response to AAP needs to be more constructive, if they want to be seen to be more on AK's side than on congress's side.. I think in 2014 AAP is only going to improve congress's chance by breaking BJP votes.. It's going to be a matter of only a few seats and AAP can spoil the party for BJP, just as it did in Delhi! On the other hand, I think AAP will do great injustice to the people of India, if it decides to fight Loksabha election on a large scale and derails Mr Modi's march to Delhi..
(Reply to (Vadodara) )-Ghulam Muhammed(Mumbai) says:
December 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Much that Kalpin sees AAP spoiling Modi's chances of turning the table on Congress and winning PM's position, Modi's own relevence was more when it was a straight BJP/Congress fight. BJP's apparent win could have been mainly due to Congress defeat. On its own BJP neither could get a simple majority of 271 seat in the Lok Sabha, nor it had any chance with its possible coalition partners, mainly from regional parties coming to BJP aid, as all were scared of Muslim backlash to Modi's 2002 Gujarat genocidal communal riots in which Muslims were targeted. The more relevant public issue is now corruption and on that count, both Congress and BJP are sailing in same boat. In the best interest of Indian republic at this juncture, both these parties are so rooted, and that too institutionally, in corruption, that people have more or less already rejected them and pinned their hope on Kejriwal's determination to rid the governance of all corruption. Before Delhi Assembly election, Kejriwal was untested. However, after people from all sections flocking to him for his brand of idealism/pragmitism, rather than the ideology driven BJP and Congress, there is strong possibility that Kejriwal could sweep the Lok Sabha poll and even chalk up simple majority. In that case, people need not lament the demise of both Congress and BJP. They will welcome the new anti-corruption ideals of Kejriwal. Though Rahul Gandhi has now found the courage from Kejriwal results, to crack the whip on dubious elements in his party, the result of the inner party politcs will cause so much upheaval, that by the end of the day, he may not have achieved much to impress the people of the nation. Both these parties now should call it a day and phase out like old soldiers.

Agree (0)
Disagree (0)
Recommend (0)

[Highlighting mine]

Nirmesh Mehta (Mumbai) says:
December 28,2013 at 04:41 AM IST
I think this article is naive. It presumes a lot of things without trying to verify - or even account for variance with obvious inconsistencies. For instance, I am against BJP's stand on article 377. But would it be a factor on my vote? Of course no. I think there are more pressing problems than symbolism - I see the court statement that there have been very few convictions under article 377 as an eminently practical one. As far as Modi's stand on personal freedom and choice is concerned, it is enough to my mind that Bajrang Dal and VHP done create any scenes in Gujarat on Valentine's day. To sum up, the urbane voter will vote for BJP because (s)he wants to get rid of the Congress. The real fence sitters are either the urban poor or the rural voters. And even their, the real fight is in UP and Bihar. If the BJP does well here, it will cross 180 - maybe even 200 and form the government; if it loses here, it has lost anyways. As far as the AAP goes, yes their performance was unexpectedly good in Delhi and BJP has not exactly taken it well. But consider, the BJP won 32 seats and couldn't form the government - and is instead asked to UNCONDITIONALLY support AAP - which goes pillar to post saying that BJP is the same as Congress. Remember that BJP had tried to make overtures to AAP which it soundly rejected. I think that is pretty ridiculous. What happens in the general elections will be clear a few months from now but my sense is that AAP will win only token seats. If the BJP forms the central government, then the real issue will be whether Modi delivers or Kejriwal. BJP may just be happy ensuring that the AAP government runs its full term, bankrupting Delhi in the process - Everyone knows that both BJP and Congress were caught off guard with the AAP's victory; the question is whether AAP was also caught off guard, and if so, whether it will be able to recover in time.
(Reply to Nirmesh Mehta (Mumbai))-Ghulam Muhammed(Mumbai) says:
December 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

@Nirmesh Mehta writes "To sum up, the urbane voter will vote for BJP because (s)he wants to get rid of the Congress." His summation is outdated, in as much as Kejriwal factor has hugely impacted the TINA factor favouring BJP, with all its faults. Now when Kejriwal is ready to position on corruption and decidedly poised to 'get rid of Congress', who needs BJP with that hatchet job from the birds of the same feather indulging in fixed fight and hoodwinking the electorate while stealing the national treasures with impunity and in broad daylight. Maharashtra governments move on Adarsh report is an open affront to the voters of Maharashtra. Why they would vote Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and BJP when they openly observe them dipping in public funds without so much as 'with your kind permission' formalities. Kejriwal has a distinct edge in bringing in change and offering a clean government, both at state as well as national level.

[Highlighting mine]

The Times of India


Has AAP derailed Modi's campaign?

Chetan Bhagat

27 December 2013, 09:48 PM IST

Whether in Bollywood or in politics, one of the disadvantages of being a star is that people often don`t tell you when things go amiss. As a result, the star doesn`t realise it early enough to take corrective action. A key reason for this is the circle of people surrounding the star. They continue to sing his praises or come up with conspiracy theories to explain away problems.

Eventually, it is too late. It is for this reason we see some massive flops in the film industry, which make the audience scratch their heads and go `but didn`t anyone tell them?` In politics it comes out as an unexpected defeat, leaving the party wondering how they could have read the signs so wrong. Cong-ress`s recent four-state defeat or the 2009 NDA defeat are examples of so-called `shocking` results, when in retrospect the signs were there for all to see.

Similar enough is BJP`s current situation. Over the past month the Narendra Modi campaign has been derailed somewhat. There is little acknowledgment or effort to fix it, indicating denial. Whether chamchas and sycophants convey this or not, AAP and Arvind Kejriwal have taken a bit of sheen off Modi`s campaign.
BJP swept the recent assembly elections in four states, winning almost 80% of seats. However, media — both social and mainstream — kept their focus pri-marily on AAP and every action it took. Even Kejriwal's viral fever became news.

AAP's moment in the sun would have passed, if BJP kept doing its own thing but gave a genuine pat on the back to Kejriwal and company. For AAP can have limited impact on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections if it has national ambitions, especially if it has to run Delhi as well.

BJP's praise for AAP would have helped Modi. Even though politics is eventually a zero-sum game, many Modi supporters are also AAP supporters. These are the new fence-sitting voters, the change seekers, the aspirational class, the influencers, and the people with a soft spot for the underdog. These are progressive Indians who want to embrace the new — and that alone is enough for them to connect Modi and Kejriwal.

This is a vital, deciding set of voters in this election. Given how polarising a figure Modi is, it is well established that the BJP campaign would focus on these new, fence-sitting voters (Modi fans will vote Modi, Modi haters won't — preaching to either of them is a waste of time).

However, what did BJP do instead? One, they took an old-school RSS stance on Section 377. BJP`s stance, and their bizarre rationale for it, which included words like `unnatural` and 'against Indian culture', sent a scare down the spines of many young voters. They brought back the worst fears young voters have of BJP — that some frustrated old uncles will place restrictions on us in the name of what they feel is natural, Hindu or Indian.

I am sorry if this is unpleasant to hear, but it is exactly what young voters, especially women, think when they decide not to vote for BJP. Its trying to please the hardline Hindu set all the time is a big mistake. This segment will vote BJP anyway, but history has shown hardliners are not sufficient in number to bring it to power.

For the moment there is a risk to personal freedom, young voters cringe. Do you really think they care about the agricultural growth rate in Modi's Gujarat when there is a morbid fear of someone telling them not to wear jeans or celebrate Valentine`s Day (against Indian culture, no?). Sure, these issues are urban. But everyone knows even 10-20 seats could make the difference between whether Modi makes it to PM or not.

The second mistake was BJP`s immediate hostility to underdog AAP. Modi was himself an underdog a few years ago, with few in the party top leadership making space for him. People backed Modi just as they did Kejriwal to make them both rise. To that effect, Modi and BJP should have been more gracious about AAP's victory.

AAP may well compete with BJP one day. But it represents hope — exactly the same quality people see in Modi. BJP should have, in fact, offered unconditional support to AAP to run Delhi. Instead, BJP offers constant jibes on AAP and their newness, as if nobody new should ever try to be in politics. Sounds progressive to you?
All this can be fixed. However, at this stage, it will require Modi`s intervention. BJP`s stance on personal freedom has to be made clear on an urgent basis. It has to be progressive. The rest of the party has to back Modi. Also, do not attack AAP. In fact, find some common ground with it.

Overall, BJP needs to focus on delivering all that people see in Modi — hope, progress and freedom. Modi still remains the front runner for 2014, and it is still his election to lose. However, the 2014 game is in the slog overs now. This is often the stage where BJP messes up. Can Team Modi make sure that doesn`t happen this time?

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

No comments:

Post a Comment