To prevent Congress revival, BJP needs to focus on the national picture

In the old days, when hunting was allowed, we used to go for ducks. When they flew overhead and were shot they would keep flying, then suddenly stop midflight, realise they had been shot and fall plop into the water. The Congress party reminds one of that sudden fall. Dead in the water.

These elections last week prove that the tactic of being anti-BJP has failed dramatically. As has the general conduct of this party. It is seen by the public as destructive, immature, in disarray and without much purpose. More a hindrance than a help. It is seen as a bully, a spoilsport and a party not worthy of attention, despite Rahul Gandhi's frenzied tours of poverty-stricken areas, in what was becoming a travesty of concern. Like enough already.

So, a moribund Congress should have seen a resurgence in the BJP. Besides Assam, where the influx of Bangladeshis swung the vote to a fair extent and swept the Congress away, there isn’t much to cheer about.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On the contrary, the writing on the wall is a grim indicator that the honeymoon is long over. The Modi magic isn’t putting the rabbit back in the hat and no amount of abracadabra will change that fact.

The disenchantment dripping from the high hopes of 2014 is reflected even in the statistical game one can play of showing that out of 822 seats contested, the comatose Congress took 115 as compared to the BJP which took 64.

Amit Shah said the BJP did extremely well in Kerala. One seat.
Repeated its performance in Tamil Nadu. No seat.
Puducherry. Zero.
West Bengal. Three.

So on what fact is this excitement predicated?

The positive spin from all this could be that the states need not replicate the Centre and can carry on with their provincial love affairs. So, come the next general election, the BJP will have its ducks in order and romp home against a Congress that isn’t likely to script an act of any great worthiness. And there is no real third party opposition that has the presence or the dimension to go nationwide.

Which perhaps could be the priority for the BJP’s think tank if they want to retain power. Stick to strengthening yourself at the Centre, keep a national approach and do not fritter away your energies in state elections, where your defeats sting you like wasps and compromise your status as the party in power in the union government. The more the Modi-led government concentrates on matters which impact on all the people and legislates towards it, the better it is for the country and the party credibility.

Not that they will listen. The desire to spread the power base is overwhelming and a victory like the one in Assam will provide a misconceived arrogance, without much thought going into it. In fact it could be a curse because not a day later, the BJP is already talking about next year’s civic polls in Mumbai. Now, isn't that a giveaway of the mindset?

The more the BJP ignores the national mandates and 'faffs' around the states and cities, the better the chances of the Congress dead duck reviving itself and swimming back to shore.

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Updated Date: May 20, 2016 17:49:26 IST

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