Durbaris are angry because BJP refuses to play dead

Why are the TV news anchors squirming like never before as B S Yeddyurappa is sworn in as Karnataka CM? Do you think these people do not know the long history of Congress governors acting in arbitrary manner? Do you think they do not know how Congress dictators/Prime Ministers would dismiss Opposition state governments en masse … sometimes up to nine state governments at a time?

Of course it is about partisanship. Some of it is about personal embarrassment. After all, many of India’s most well known anchors spent much time covering Karnataka, following Siddaramaiah around, declaring him a “folk hero.” Then, the folk hero lost by 36000 votes. Now these anchors want to discuss everything except their shocking incompetence in analyzing election outcomes. They also want to keep people from discussing how Rahul Gandhi failed again.

But there is one more factor. And I believe its the biggest one. It’s their anger and surprise at a new Modi-fied BJP that refuses to play dead. Let me explain.

The year was 1999. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government collapsed because it was one vote short. One vote!

That was the old BJP, always getting blindsided, fooled or taken for a ride.

The BJP struck a deal with BSP in the 90s to form the government in Uttar Pradesh based on a rotational CM post. Of course, Mayawati would go first. And of course, when it was the BJP’s turn to have the CM post, the BSP refused support.

Same in Karnataka. In 2006, the BJP struck a deal with JDS to rule the state based on a rotational CM. Of course, Kumaraswamy would go first. And of course, when it was BJP’s turn to have the CM post, the JDS refused support. How could it possibly be otherwise?

In the Bihar elections of 2000, the Samata Party (precursor of JDU) won just 34 seats. The BJP won nearly twice as many, i.e., 67 seats. Guess who the BJP offered the CM post? Nitish Kumar! And while Nitish’s government didn’t last, he had become the face of NDA in Bihar, a mistake for which BJP continues to pay even to this day.

The BJP is, by any standard, an electoral behemoth. In the last seven elections, the party has always won at least 100 Lok Sabha seats. To see how big this is, just try to count how many parties in India have ever touched 50 Lok Sabha seats even once!

But the BJP always punched below its weight and often laughably so. I wouldn’t say the durbaris “liked” the old BJP … but they were at least capable of coming to terms with it. As long as the BJP, even after emerging victorious, was willing to fall to the ground and beg forgiveness for winning … and promise the nobles in the ecosystem that their high status would not be affected.

As long as the BJP with 182 Lok Sabha seats in 1999 was willing to grovel before allies, willing to give them all the key Cabinet positions. Even the ministries that were technically with the BJP were offered to people who could be best described as newcomers and/or outsiders. Stool pigeons of the Congress saw it as an acknowledgement of intellectual inferiority on part of the BJP. You will see folks like Ram Guha often write fondly and with much satisfaction about this.

In other words, the ecosystem could make some sort of peace with the BJP, as long as they were willing to prostrate before the elite and play dead. This is the sort of mentality with which an arrogant Amartya Sen declared after 2014 results that he would “allow” Modi to rule. At that point, they were still very much consumed by the belief that Modi would ask them for their “permission,” whatever that means.

The thing is that their “permission” meant absolutely nothing to Modi. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

In fact, Modi would positively revel in showing how little he cared for that class. And this is what they cannot digest.

The BJP has been an electoral behemoth for a long time. But in terms of institutions, the party had almost no influence. Arguably, the BJP’s institutional imprint is smaller than even a tiny party like the CPIM. Twice in the last 20 years, the CPIM fell short of the minimum electoral performance required to maintain the status of a ‘national party.’ Both times, the Election Commission rewrote the definition of a national party, tailored it to suit the CPIM’s requirements and hand delivered them to the CPIM’s headquarters at A K Gopalan Bhavan in Delhi.

This is what *real power* looks like. When the institutions proactively surrender before you. The CPIM barely needed to ask. The Election Commission fell at their feet proactively without a murmur.

Compare this to the BJP which was running circles around the Election Commission in 2007 begging to keep its recognition merely as a political party.

Do I even have to remind people of the time the Supreme Court of India humbly agreed to the Emergency, pointing out that Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial move was almost “maternal”?

This status of the BJP as an outcast endured right up to the moment of May 16, 2014. Let me remind you that Narendra Modi, even in the campaign summer of 2014, could not get permission to address so much as a rally in Varanasi city, in the heart of a seat that he was contesting himself. The place where Modi was allowed to address a rally was so far from the population that hardly anybody could make it there : it was his only thinly attended rally in Uttar Pradesh that year.

A day before voting, the EC raided Modi’s offices in Varanasi. A smug NDTV announced to its viewers that “campaign material was seized” from the election office.


Of course you can’t punish a party for having election material in its election office. It was about sending the BJP a message … reminding them of their “aukat.” Such was the complete, total and utter humiliation of the BJP, even days before they swept to power.

But tables have turned ever so slightly under the Modi regime. For the first time, at least a few decisions from India’s various “institutions” have gone in favor of the BJP. That is why you see the Congress agitating to have the EVMs canceled, the Chief Election Commissioner sacked and the Chief Justice of India impeached.  The Raj Bhavans across state capitals have always been part of the servants quarters at 10 Janpath. They have always been used to show the BJP its place.

Suddenly, the Congress Party and the ecosystem sees a different face of Raj Bhavan. The people making the decisions have changed. And you can’t raid the BJP’s election office any more for the “crime” of possessing campaign material. That’s why they are so angry. Let them.



23 thoughts on “Durbaris are angry because BJP refuses to play dead

  1. Having enjoyed your perfect predictions for the last so many elections, I want Chaiwallah to write about whether BSY will survive the floor test or not. Take a few days to decide, but do give your opinion a few days before the actual floor test.


    1. He he… thanks for so much confidence in me. But there are no rules in this game. How can I predict this? For BJP, physical access to the MLAs is key. The BJP already has 105, including an independent. Needs 6 MLAs. Would be doable if BJP gets a week time.


      1. A week would have been nice but I am quietly confident that Amit Shah will be able to work his magic even in the shortened time he has!


  2. Hi Cw,
    In paragraph 2, last line, did you miss the word “DO NOT”.
    “They also DO NOT want to keep people from discussing how Rahul Gandhi failed again.”


    1. Added to what you have said, they also do not want to discuss on the violence & killings that happened in WB Panchayat elections.


  3. Either CW or any other experts:
    Can you provide a list of instances when Congress (either under Indira or Sonia) did horse trading and was able to get MLAs. Also, if possible give a list of how many times they used Article 356.

    I vaguely remember one of earlier post from CW (may be one year ago) when he was indicating how Congress was trying to kidnap opposition MLAs but they were transported in buses to prove the majority. It would be nice if CW could find that post and re-post it in OpIndia. It would be a good lead for BJP spokesperson if they read that article. CW & commentators like Shri Vidyasagar knows more details than most of the BJP spokesperson.


      1. Thank you CW. Though I do not comment often, I never miss any of your posts. As many are telling, your predictions, thought process & writing style is really great. I am enjoying it. I hope you can be a spokesperson for BJP so that you can drive these prestitute anchors crazy by providing real facts.


  4. The year was 1996 & the Gujarat state BJP govt has just fallen thanks to Congress’ Governor Krishnapal Singh. Vaghela, along with his Deputy, Dilip Parikh were the masterminds who had open support of Congress to split the BJP & bring the state BJP Govt down. They along with Congress resorted to violence inside the state assembly where a no-confidence motion was to be voted & which in all probability was certain to be defeated. Speaker suspended entire opposition for a day. Motion was tabled & govt proved its numbers. But here comes the twist:

    Congress Governor declared based on the pandemonium by Congress + Vaghela faction that the law & order machinery had collapsed in the entire state & there was a consitutional crisis. After having surpassed his constitutional reach & jumping into the executive’s functioning, he sent a report to the central govt. Within 15 minutes of the the file reaching the then PM’s table, state govt of Gujrat was dismissed & President’s rule imposed. This immediately after having proved majority on the floor of the house. Baghela later became CM for just a year & was succeeded by Parikh who remained CM for 2.5 months. Congress pulled out support from both. Fresh elections were held. Vaghela’s strength reduced from 47 to 4. Congress was kicked out & Keshubhai was voted back as CM.

    How is this story relevant after 22 years in Karnataka? Beacuse those quoting verses of morality, constitutional ethics & conventions were prepetrators of murdering democracy & numerous elected govts, right from Nehru.

    The Gujarat state BJP Chief in 1996 was Vajubhai Vala who today is the Governor of Karnataka. And the PM who imposed President rule was non other than HD Deve Gowda. Congress-JDS today want Vajubhai to be merciful reminding him of his duty. But then there is Karma – Catches all, spares none.


  5. Attaboy! You nailed it.

    I say this to everyone who cares to listen. The one significant way we on the “other side” could help matters is by voting with our wallets. In our family, we don’t subscribe to any of the mainstream English media – electronic or print. Ditto with the new socials – The Wire, Scroll, etc. I don’t even visit their sites lest my visit is accounted as a viewer and hence making it possible for them to secure capital, ads, whatever.

    If we all do this – stop subscriptions to The Hindu and its publications, The Indian Express and its publications, The Week, The Hindustan Times, India Today and its publications, Outlook, Caravan, Statesman, Business Standard, The Pioneer, et al not to speak of the television counterparts we could hit them where it hurts most. We’ve got the numbers; they don’t.

    I used to think, boy, I need the business publications. Guess what? I don’t. I’ve managed perfectly well without any of them. There are far superior writings out there on the web – and this one by CW is one great example.


  6. It is well established facts that only and only if the winnigest party in unwilling to defend its claim of majority, the governor asks the second winning party or any other coalition to form a government. In this case the BJP is willing to defend its majority hence the governor asked it to form government.


    1. It always boils down to who holds power as the wavering MLAs who want to take the plunge want to be sure that the person for whom they are prepared to switch sides will definitely form the government. IN this case Yeddiyurappa is already in the CM seat and it would not be much easier for him to convince them them to switch sides. There is a big rumour going around that there are about a dozen lingayat MLAs distributed in Cong and JDS who are willing to back Yeddi who is the tallest of lingayats. As JDS is headed by a vokkalinga the other dominant caste in Karnataka the Lingayats want to support Yeddi. Its about how Yeddi would get his ‘message’ across to them. Difficult but doable.


  7. Hope the scare in Gujarat and the miss in Karnataka motivates Modi to rethink his “Vikas” strategy for elections. In Indian elections the following are at play(in order): Religion, Caste, Language and finally Vikas. When opposition was using caste and language, it is foolish to use only Vikas. BJP saw the light fairly late and promised freeing up temples in Karnataka. That might have taken them from 90 seats to 104.

    The strategy and execution post election from BJP has been flawless. They did not offer JD(S) the CM post (and maybe they did not offer even deputy CM post). I would have been unfair to the BJP leaders and workers. They seem to have learnt from past mistakes


    1. Not sure if they have learnt from past mistakes – but in their obsession to look ‘Sickular’ they keep committing newer ones : like the Ramzan ceasefire in Kashmir ! This desperate urge to keep Muzzies in good humour is fine as long as it is confined to symbolism (stopping speeches when Azaan is heard in the background) … but could be dangerous when it handicaps our security forces !


  8. “But tables have turned ever so slightly under the Modi regime.” This should have been the title of your blog post, with EVER SO SLIGHTLY highlighted. The fact is that the table-turning has been far too slight to be of any significance. We still have far too many NDA ministers falling at the feet of NDTV anchors. During the Karnataka campaign, Prakash Javadekar was hobnobbing with Rajdeep Sardesai. Moreover clueless Javadekar is the “in-charge” of the Karnataka election and now cabinet-making. I JUST hope he is not checking with Rajdeep for approval before doing anything!

    Regarding Mr. Kannan’s point, as this tweet from imac_too shows, the BJP is still persona non grata for Muslims. So it is high time for the BJP dynamic duo of Modi-Shah to cure themselves of their “secularitis” bug and start doing something for their followers. Fortunately (for us) the Ramadan ceasefire backfired almost immediately, so I hope that stupid idea is shelved once and for all.

    Jaysri, please do not lump Pioneer with the rest of MSM; it has consistently supported the BJP for decades, with nothing by way of reciprocation from the BJP.


    1. Vidyasagar, thank you for pointing out the Pioneer exception. I have no knowledge, only sought to emphasize that the mainstream English media – print and television – is the major enemy. The real question is how to break the nexus between this media, activist community, academia, and NGOs. We have to break this up brick by brick and link by link. Facts nothwithstanding – the irrelevance of Communism and the Congress ideology, state election results one after another, and the absence of marked casteist associations (AHINDA) other than, perhaps, the Muslim affiliation – these guys continue to have a hold over the discourse and the power to mount disruptions and pandemonium.


      1. Don’t you think that the anti-BJP MSM has pretty much eliminated itself? Both Republic and Times Now are pro-BJP much of the time, though they occasionally try to beat up the BJP just to show “balance”. (This is much more true of Republic which I find basically unwatchable almost all the time, even when it is supporting the BJP.) Between them, these two channels control 85% of English viewership.

        As for the communist stranglehold on academia, we can put the blame for that SOLELY on that nincompoop Prakash Javadekar. Imagine: He STILL has people like Ramachandra Guha and Nalini Sundar in charge of the NCERT textbook content! I really cannot imagine why Modi got rid of Smriti Irani who was doing an excellent job with this idiot.

        The third point you mention, namely the willingness of the Congress to create riots, is basically a law and order problem. Once a few paid rioters are shot dead, the Congress will find it that much harder to recruit rioters for the next round. (BTW the same would apply to “stone-pelters” too.)


        1. Even I could not understand why Javadekar is in charge of HRD ministry. It is these types of ‘leaders’ that the BJP should be careful about as they can do much damage to the BJP’s chances by alienating the BJP support base with their secularitis syndrome. They want to enjoy the benefits of power but don’t want show respect to the feelings of the very people who elected them. I have not seen Javadekar clearly articulate BJP point of view in any debate in the TV instead he mumbles something like a typical namby-pamby way that he represents. We do not know what are the compulsions for keeping such ineffective minister in charge of HRD which is a key ministry handling education. Probably because he can cause more damage in other ministries he is being retained in HRD?


  9. Slightly off topic it is heard that Chandrababu Naidu had through his aides tried to influence among telugus in the ‘Hyd-Karnataka’ areas to not vote for BJP. To what extent it worked is not known but seeing such tight contests where some of the seats were lost by 1000 – 2000 votes margin it is possible that some seats could have been affected. If that is the case then there will be no holds barred fight for Andhra where BJP will make it very hard for CBN to make a come back even if it means Jagan benefits from it. CBN had done it in the past and has done it now by gaining maximum advantages of aligning with the ruling BJP at the Centre and then blaming it just before the elections and jumping on to the secular bandwagon during elections. He will be taught a lesson this time that he won’t forget for a long time to come as he will know the difference between backstabbing the Vajpayee / Advani led BJP and the Shah / Modi led BJP the hard way.


    1. Raj, I share your concern. With the margin victories to opposition, there must be an affect from the influence of CBN. We cannot ignore that. Probably, as CW said above, Telugus simply didn’t vote not just for BJP and but no one in the process, which cost BJP votes.

      CBN is definitely going to be taught a lesson. He is not just taking it up against BJP, he is going anti Hindu and minority appeasement. There is news that for the first time in the history of TTD there is a self-declared Christian appointed (later withdrawn after public outcry) and the chairman of the TTD board is a CBN dummy and has been sighted at Christian gatherings many times. Now, there is being news that first time not just in TTD time but in centuries, Lord Balaji’s “Prathana Archaka” has been sacked from his post and others were appointed by the Christian leaning TTD chairman. There is already allegations on missing jems and jewllery from ages old which are prieceless. No one know where they are gone. I hope CBN will be taught a lesson, with in couple of months he lost a decades old supporter in me. There are many others. I pray Lord Balaji that CBN be taught a lesson, of life time.


      1. He is trying to court the same vote base that Jagan has built his party upon. In doing so he is driving away his supporters who have stood by him in his good and bad days. His actions in TTD will bring him down and he will become irrelevant after AP elections. This is the reason there should be an all India movement with all matadhipatis coming together under one umbrella to demand that temples be freed from government control.


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