As expected

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Dec 2017 12:49:37

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s exhortation to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Members of Parliament(MP) in the wake of legislative elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh has come on expected lines. He has asserted that the party will have to promote a vision of a New India and build youth power so that it will be able to do better in the future electoral challenges.

The Prime Minister also stressed the need to be more serious in understanding real issues and addressing those in a systematic manner. His speech had both the elements, of elation that the BJP won both the elections, and caution that much more work is needed to be done to ensure the winning spree in the immediate and distant future. ‘New India’ vision will achieve that, he stressed, by promoting the youth power. 

The most special aspect of the Prime Minister’s speech was that he became emotional at some points when he talked about how the grass-root-level workers made victory possible. He also recalled in an emotion-choked voice how seniors including Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee groomed young workers in the party and built its internal organisation in a substantially strong manner.

This recall of history by the Prime Minister was obviously meant to send out a strong message in favour of younger element in the party. It also demonstrated an acknowledgement that a lot of party stalwarts got defeated in the two elections, hinting the need to promote younger element in a greater measure.

In the nutshell, the Prime Minister presented the next steps the party will be needed to take as an integral part of its preparation for the elections to the Lok Sabha two years later, and in Gujarat five years from now. Obviously, as expected, the Prime Minister talked of a situation within the party where youth and experience will find a fine blend. The Government in Gujarat, too, will demonstrate similar combination so that the next five years will be spent in creative innovation and renovation in the party machinery.

This was expected. Everybody knew that the BJP will get into a huddle to discuss its future course of action for elections as well as governance at the Centre and in the 14 States where it is now ruling individually or in coalition. For, in Gujarat, things were not as smooth as expected. The BJP ran into many anxious moments as the counting of votes continued through the day. That it managed a comfortable win, is being seen more as the Prime Minister’s participation in the campaign in the second phase. Had he really not slogged it out, the BJP would have even lost the election, a fact everybody is now recognising.

By any standard, this situation cannot be allowed to continue. True, the Prime Minister’s contribution will always be of a special category, but the party cannot keep winning only on that component. In other words, the BJP will have to evolve an altogether different strategy and tactic to ensure that it will provide a responsible Government to the people and as vibrant organisation to the party workers. These elements were very strongly communicated from the Prime Minister’s speech at the Parliamentary Party meeting attended by all those who matter in the party. In short, Mr. Modi outlined the party’s strategy for the future electoral challenges.

Mr. Modi is trying to make the party learn the right lessons post-Gujarat. He is one person who will not like to take the victory in Gujarat with a slender margin for granted. This is the quintessential part of the Prime Minister’s assertive and no-nonsense personality. He would not like to waste time from now on. For, out of “sixty months”, just about 24 months are left for the next electoral clash. He is gearing up for that moment.