BJP fails to read writing on the wall

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP National President Amit Shah at the inauguration of the combined 'BJP National Executive Committee Meeting of all the Morchas (Cells)' at Civic Centre in New Delhi. Express Photo by Amit Mehra. 17.05.2018.

At last, the mighty BJP is vanquished in Chhattisgarh. The last year of Raman Singh’s 15-year rule gave ample indications that a discontentment is brewing against the BJP regime, but it could not read the writing on the wall, as those in power were blinded by prejudice. A handful of bureaucrats those on contract and juniors mostly of 2005 IAS batch ruled the roost and the political bosses only saw the cosy picture which they projected.

BJP leaders, both at the national and state level, were hopeful that the saffron party is best placed in Chhattisgarh than in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and it could scrape through by retaining power with a thin margin. But, the results proved otherwise—never in the past had the BJP faced such a humiliating rout, ending up with just 15 seats in the 90-member assembly, since formation of the state in the year 2000.

Chief Minister Raman Singh was quick to take moral responsibility for the defeat and so did his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The idea was to insulate the BJP leadership Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its national president Amit Shah—facing criticism from within the party. A senior BJP leader said the state BJP had initially proposed to waive off farm loans up to Rs  one lakh but the Modi –Shah Combine refused to include loan waiver promise in the manifesto.

While Raman Singh has owned the moral responsibility, the state BJP president Dharamlal Kaushik, under whose leadership the party faced the debacle, did not even think it appropriate to quit the party post and is apparently, now, began lobbying to become leader of the opposition in the assembly.

The BJP is now facing the daunting task of reviving itself for gearing up for the next Lok Sabha elections scheduled within six months. Except for former chief minister Raman Singh, there is no other tall leader within the party in Chhattisgarh. Hence, it has no other option but to field him to contest the next Lok Sabha elections.

If the BJP-led NDA government returns to power at the centre, Raman Singh’s presence in the Lok Sabha definitely in an important position in the Union ministry would immensely benefit the state.  There is no other leader in the party in Chhattisgarh of Raman Singh’s stature, who can impress upon a leader like Prime Minister Modi to take care of the interests of the state, particularly when a Congress government is in power that too with a brute majority.

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