Friday, August 31, 2012

BJP disappointed with media, wants to go to people

 New Delhi: BJP leaders had expected the adversarial media to support its demand for the resignation of prime minister Manmohan Singh the way media supported the opposition against then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors issue. The main opposition party wanted to make of the coal scam the Bofors of 2012.

When the media did not support the demand and even questioned the party's strategy of stalling parliamentary proceedings, the party is showing signs of disillusionment with the media. Media have been following the irregularities and the implied scandals of coal block allotments but they have not endorsed the BJP's demand for the resignation of the prime minister.

Said one of the party's relatively young leaders speaking on condition of anonymity, “ It does not matter whether the media writes good about us or not. It did not help us in the 2004 and 2009 elections. We want to go to the people. They (the people) too would like to meet us eye to eye. That is the way to do it in this large country of 1.2 billion people.” Hence the plans to hold protest rallies across the country.

There is a kind of irrational exuberance among the BJP leaders in parliament about their demand for the prime minister's resignation. They are not willing to explain that the BJP is ready for the consequences, which could mean Lok Sabha elections much before 2014. One of the leaders did admit that the party is not afraid of going to the polls. They are not however willing to share what they intend to do if their offensive does not work.

There was a strong buzz last week that the party wants to quit from all the parliamentary committees and this seemed quite likely when the BJP members walked out from the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) examining the 2G spectrum allocation issues. But all that senior party leader and JPC member Yashwant Sinha said was that they would decide what to do after JPC chairman P.C.Chacko responds to their demand that the prime minister should be summoned to depose before the committee. It turned out to be a defensive stance.

It is still not clear as to how far the BJP will go with its demand for the prime minister's resignation and how long it will stick to the position. There was talk that this confrontationist position has been adopted to help a beleaguered Narender Modi to fight back on a strong issue in the Gujarat assembly elections due in December this year. Apparently, Modi had expressed the view in the BJP chief ministers' conference held in New Delhi on August 18 that the party should stick to the one big issue and not be distracted by other things. It is believed that he was really looking for an issue to fight the election in his state. This would make sense after the Naroda Patiya riots judgment where many of the BJP members were found guilty and convicted by the trial court.

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