Please notice that I didn’t say that BJP should celebrate. I said that BJP supporters should celebrate. The BJP has got its task cut out. It has to stop dilly-dallying, dithering and announce a CM candidate. Yes, I know its a risky decision. Yes, I know that there are 100 castes and sub-castes and no matter who is picked, there is the risk that the other castes will be angry. But, you cannot win if you are not playing. Pick one and go with it. You have to take the plunge!
Yes, BJP supporters should celebrate because the Sheila Dikshit candidature puts pressure on the BJP to pick their horse and bet on it publicly. Come on BJP, it’s time now. Just do it. This is precisely the kind of indecisive over-dribbling that got BJP to lose Bihar. We can’t afford to lose Uttar Pradesh. And more importantly, we can’t afford not to play.
For better or for worse, electorates today want to vote for a person, a brand. Modi ji himself is the most powerful brand India has had in decades. It is quite simply unimaginable that the BJP could have got 73/80 from UP in 2014 without the face of Modi. Personally, I am convinced that people voting for personal brands instead of amorphous parties is a good thing. This is because I think the greatest problem with our political class is lack of intra party democracy. When people start voting for personal brands and not parties as a whole, we get actual, open competition between members of the same party. Honestly, a political party should be little more than a platform with a loosely and broadly defined set of basic principles, like “right wing” or “left wing”. It is individuals within the party who should give us clear principles and policies and run for public office based on that. In India, we typically have this strange expectation that the opinion of every member and the opinion of the party should be one and same. It reeks of a Commie like setup where everyone is expected to toe the “party line”. Enough of this nonsense.
Okay, so that’s the first reason BJP supporters should celebrate Sheila Dikshit. It will add to the clamor that the BJP must embrace reality and declare its CM candidate. Yes, I know that Congress declaring a CM candidate in UP is practically like the Sikkim Democratic Front also announcing its CM candidate in Uttar Pradesh 🙂 Yes, I know Congress will be lucky to get 10 seats (really really lucky). But any additional pressure on BJP to announce a candidate is great and I welcome it.
The other reason BJP supporters should celebrate is this: so far the biggest sword hanging over the BJP’s prospects in UP was a possible Maya-Cong alliance. As we found out in Bihar, arithmetic matters. In the final calculation, it was realized that even Lalu+Nitish wouldn’t have defeated BJP in Bihar. It was the Congress’ 6% vote share that made all the difference between NDA and MGB. Wiser from the Bihar experience, I was fairly certain that if Mayawati had tied up with the Congress, they would have won.
Fortunately, it seems that those fears have receded. With Congress announcing its CM candidate, it seems they are going it alone. But, watch this space. Sheila Dikshit is a poor scapegoat pulled out of retirement by Sonia ji to shield Rahul/Priyanka in UP; if the Congress and/or Mayawati feel that BJP is running away with the election, they might still dump her and announce an alliance. Ironically, in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will win if our opponents are more confident 🙂 The more confident Mayawati gets about her victory, the brighter the chances of the BJP. The reason BJP lost Bihar is that they underestimated the cowardice of Nitish Kumar. The BJP simply could not believe that Nitish was willing to fall at Lalu’s feet. The BJP couldn’t believe that Nitish would be ready to contest a mere 100 seats out of 243, down from the 142 he used to contest. Now, I do not have the entire electoral history of India at my fingertips, but I believe this is the single biggest surrender made by a ruling party while entering into an alliance. Nopes, Nitish’s desperation and cowardice exceeded all calculations of the BJP…he handed 100 seats to Lalu and 43 seats to Congress! Nitish took no chances. He surrendered to everyone other than the BJP. The gamble paid off.
Thank god Mayawati has a bigger ego than Nitish Kumar 🙂 🙂 May Behenji and Mulayam Singh’s ego grow:)
With SP and BSP contesting separately and the Congress (bit player that could have been huge force multiplier) not taking sides, the BJP has got the chessboard it wished for. The Opposition is completely divided. The BJP’s basic gameplan is to play up the capabilities of the SP, BSP and even Cong in pocket to pocket, thus confusing the M vote from coalescing behind any one party. As they said in 2014: Unite the Hindus, divide the …
By the way, I am hearing of a certain “B” vote that Sheila Dikshit is supposed to cut from the BJP’s traditional pie. I can only ROFL at this. Brahmins are not going to be fooled by an obvious vote katwa. End of story. Vote katwas simply don’t work. The BJP employed all sorts of vote katwas in Bihar (let’s be honest about it) from Mulayam Singh to Pappu Yadav to Owaisi, but nothing of that sort worked. People are way too smart to fall for vote katwas these days.
Yes, I am highly appreciative of Amit Shah’s work of bleeding the BSP of its cadres and leaders at every level. Not only does it create doubts about BSP’s ability to win, it also helps the SP to be seen as a contender in the race. If SP is seeing clearly as out of the race, the M vote will desert them completely and we can’t have that. We can’t have the M vote coalesce behind one party.
But, Amit Shah, tell us who is the captain? You have to give us one.
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