BJP Foundation Day: Amit Shah's animal jibe at Opposition uncalled for, reflects poor knowledge of his own party's history
Amit Shah's Panchsheel enunciated on BJP's foundation day is full of rhetoric, prediction based on selective facts, self-adulation and low standard political discourse.
Amit Shah's Panchsheel enunciated on Friday on BJP's foundation day is full of rhetoric, prediction based upon selective facts, self-adulation and low standard political discourse.
The BJP president's comparison of opposition parties to animals like dogs and cats is unbecoming of his stature. "During a flood, all the rats, dogs, cheetah, mongoose and cats climb on board a floating log to save themselves from the flood. However they will not be safe from the Modi flood which will sweep them away," Shah said at a mega rally in Mumbai. History tells us that political fortunes have a tendency to oscillate. The BJP itself grew from mere two seats to win the majority on its own.
The party that rules the nation and 20 states should have displayed some amount of humility. Such a brazen display of arrogance is uncalled for in a democracy and can even prove to be self-destructive. The history of Congress party itself is a vindication of this.
Shah describing united opposition as a potpourri of parties without any ideological commonality holds true even for NDA. The BJP chief said that all parties such as SP, BSP TMC, and Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, their ideologies do not match but the fear of Narendra Modi is bringing them together. But, this is not unusual in India.
During the hay days of Congress, then opposition parties got united on blind anti-Congressism. Shah's remarks are true. But, he should explain to the nation what is the commonality between BJP and its allies. The only party with which the saffron party has an ideological convergence, the Shiv Sena already declared that it would independently contest in 2019. The ideologically divergent parties like BJP and the PDP share power in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the BJP calls for abrogation of Article 370 that accords autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP wants the state to be given maximum autonomy. Similarly, the BJP allied with Indigenous people front of Tripura (IPFT) though both these parties have diametrically opposite views on the formation of separate state of Tipraland. Yet, both these parties came together to defeat CPM.
In fact, all these 'rats, cats, dogs, mongoose' etc. were a part of BJP led NDA in the past. The parties which Shah named like TMC, TDP, SP etc. have allied with BJP in the past. The BJP chief is expected to be conversant with the history of Indian politics or at least the history of his own party.
Notwithstanding reverses in its strongholds like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, his assertion that BJP would win with bigger margin is purely in the realm of speculation. The series of electoral reverses in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and even Gujarat cannot in anyway be compensated by small gains in the tiny states of North East India. The BJP cannot dismiss these electoral reverses as insignificant though they are by-elections.
His criticism on the opposition for parliamentary disruption is selective perception as Shah is oblivious to the fact that the government has a responsibility to run the house. The AIADMK which refused to support no-confidence motion was instrumental in ensuring that the house will not be in order so that the BJP led NDA would escape the no-trust debate. Can this happen without BJP's karseva? In fact, it is the responsibility of the government and the Speaker to keep the house in order.
The Constitution accords sweeping powers to the presiding officer and the house to ensure order. The Supreme Court in Raja Rampal case has even said that a member can even be expelled to ensure order in the house. Even the courts cannot review the decision of the Speaker unless it is a case of substantial illegality. The UPA government has ensured the passage of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation bill by suspending its own members. But, now, NDA government has not shown any initiative to resolve the impasse. Thus blaming it on the opposition does not cut ice with the people.
His claims on relations with allies are unfounded given the Shiv Sena's revolt and Akali Dal sulking, TDP estranging. In fact, allies like the PDP and even the smaller allies in Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala are uncomfortable with the big brother.
Shah's jibe at opposition is, therefore, distasteful and disdainful. The BJP which is in power in most of the states in the country should have fought the elections with much more decent discourse. The saffron party is known for fighting elections with animal spirits. But, such an animals analogy only reveals its desperation as critics observe.
The writer is former MLC in Telangana, former editor, The Hans India and Professor, Journalism, Osmania University.
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