rethink Time

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Dec 2017 11:44:45

THERE is little doubt that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will go back to the basics in Gujarat following a steep reduction in its numbers in the recent legislative elections in the State. Given the method and manner of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and style and substance of party President Mr. Amit Shah, it is anybody’s guess that the BJP will now return to the drawing board to redesign its not just strategy and tactics but also its thinking and approach to issues now confronting Gujarat and the country. That it could barely manage to hold on to a simple majority must have given the party a genuine shock and its thinktank will give itself to profound meditation on how to redraw the future course of action. There is no doubt that in the next some time, a new vigour and verve will be visible in the BJP in Gujarat as well as all over the country. 

This is the mark of a genuine and good organisation -- its ability to take a good second look at itself and rebuild its strategies and defences for the future after learning the right lessons from the past and the present. Way below its avowed figure of 150+, the BJP came down to a double-digit 99 in the legislative elections. In contrast, the Congress party gained those many numbers in its favour. It is only natural that the BJP will now think hard about the mistakes it made and find ways and means to rectify those to emerge a better party in the next elections.

The BJP has five more years to rebuild itself in Gujarat and will take up this task very seriously. For, if it has five years in Gujarat, it has less than two years in the whole nation before the next Lok Sabha elections. Thus, from now on, the people will see a renewed thinking in the BJP about its method and manner. Even as Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi made his supporters repeat several times the slogan Jeetega bhai jeetega Vikaas jeetega after his speech at the party headquarters in New Delhi, the steely determination on his stern face could be read easily. It was sure that he had resolved to undertake a serious scrutiny of what went wrong and how. Obviously, in the next some time, the party will witness a lot of restructuring and reorganisation of its internal systems. Seen from that angle, the Gujarat shock was a much-needed impetus to the BJP.

It is obvious that in the past 22 years when the BJP has been in power in Gujarat, it strengthened its organisational machinery very well. But, it also cannot be ruled out that certain misdemeanours, too, entered its systems during this long period in power. Certain arrogance, certain taking success for granted, certain blind support of people must have become parts of the party’s persona in these years. All those, together, seem to have affected the party’s electoral performance. Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah are two wise men who would certainly take a deep look at the party especially in Gujarat and redraw their approach to running things. As good leaders, both will take a dispassionate look at what actually happened. This process will be interesting to watch from the distance.