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2014 to 2016

BJP is yet to fully make the journey from a party aggressively staking claim to power to one that is astutely wielding it.

By: Express News Service | Published: May 14, 2016 12:02 am
PM modi, prime minister narendra modi, 2 years of Modi govt, modi tenure, Narendra Modi, modi anniversary, bjp anniversary, bjp term, bjp two year anniversary, rajiv pratap rudy, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)

As the Narendra Modi government completes two years in a few days’ time, it could well be asked: Has it been two years since the BJP stopped campaigning and started governing — really? It’s not a rhetorical question. Take a look at the images of the last few days, in the run-up to the two-year anniversary. The prime minister, deep in the heat and grime of assembly poll battle, comparing Kerala to Somalia, provoking a reaction much like the one he did last year in Bihar, where his barb about Nitish Kumar’s DNA lent ballast to an entire campaign from the other side, Bihari vs Bahari. The NDA government forced to retreat by the Supreme Court and the floor test in Uttarakhand, where it has been accused of trying to topple yet another government in an Opposition-ruled state. The Modi government on the offensive against the Congress in Parliament over the controversial AgustaWestland helicopter deal, armed with rhetoric but without the homework to match the shouting. These images are eloquent. They speak of a government at the Centre that is yet to pronounce the battle over and call an end to the hostilities. Two years later, it’s still 2014.

To an extent, the crowded election calendar in this country demands a constant battle-readiness from parties. And a healthy antagonism between government and opposition is a feature of a robust democracy. But the BJP’s unending bellicosity is about more than just that. As the party that rules the Centre, it needs to draw crucial distinctions. Even as it faces off with the Congress and other Opposition parties in state assembly arenas, it must, at the same time, engage them in a conversation in Parliament to push its own agenda, especially in the Rajya Sabha where it lacks a majority. In the last two years, however, there is little evidence of attempted political outreach, and even less of a follow-through. By all accounts, the BJP appears to be allowing its slogan of “Congress-mukt Bharat” to get the better of its dialogue with other parties and its own judgement, and even push it onto constitutionally slippery ground as in Uttarakhand. It is true that Prime Minister Modi shoulders the burden of being his party’s lead campaigner. But both he and his party must be mindful of the fact that his no-holds-barred immersion in the heated poll battle also singes his office — the PM must, in all circumstances, be a figure larger than the leader of his own party and he must be seen to be so too.

The BJP must ask itself why, two years into government, it looks angry and resentful — a polariser and a settler of old scores, rather than the party elected with a large mandate to break with the past and build anew.

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    TheSceptic
    May 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm
    Excellent article.lt;br/gt;And to the diehard BJP fans, or the Modi fans (not the same thing), here is the paradox you face.lt;br/gt;Ignore the message of the article, reject the suggestion, and choose not to change.lt;br/gt;Or, recognize that the critique has validity and change - you still have 3 years left.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Choose the latter, and you might get another chance. Choose the former,and be prepared for the inevitable - a one-term Prime Ministership.
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    1. Kalayata Maha
      May 14, 2016 at 3:01 am
      Crisp analysis and to the point. Not withstanding the pharisaical stand of honorable Mr. J and the holier than thou atude of the PM, there is a real need for the party in power to ess what they have done for the country in these two years! For the pride on display the contributions are a shame.
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        Shivam
        May 16, 2016 at 11:48 am
        really? Here's the counter question. Let's ume Modi is a failure. Whom are you going to vote? Pappu? Kejru? Jihadidi? Mulla mulayam? Sushasan Kumar? Just who?
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          Shivam
          May 16, 2016 at 11:46 am
          Here's a question for the writer? Does it not feel like media is working with a vengeance against him?lt;br/gt;Compare media and reporting between 2004 and 2014. Now compare it to the last 2 years. I am completely sure you can see what I am arriving at.
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          1. vicki Sharma
            May 15, 2016 at 2:11 am
            Very, very readable and an eminent article, which will prick BJP, where it hurts it most. Feku-gappu-hawabaaz-jumlebaaz Modi has mastered the art of using sadak-chaap language to deride his opponents. Right from the days he was CM of Gujrat to the latest when he compared Keral as some very, very deprived country of Africa-Somalia. His lust for power and arrogance has made him complete intolerant person, who he feels, can get away from all the abusive words he uses for his opponents like he had used "Madam Snia aapki itni himmat"? Ever heard any civilised person, especially head of any govt to stoop so low?
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