Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Towards a Genuine Centre Right Party...

FE Editorial : BJP’s future
The Financial Express/Editorial/19.05.2009
India needs a genuine centre-right party
The BJP must be feeling terribly demoralised, having lost two general elections in a row. The prospect of ten long years out of power at the Centre would daunt even the most optimistic politicians. Yet, there is no need for the BJP to be despondent—that runs the risk of them lurching further to the political right as a reaction. This election has seen the decimation of many smaller parties which had, in many ways, disproportionately influenced Indian politics for the last 13 years. In fact, the Congress gained more at the expense of these Third Front parties than the BJP. The voters are, after a long time, yearning for bipolarity and the BJP, as the second-largest national party, is still the main alternative for voters. That said, the BJP would do well to rethink some parts of its agenda. The party was at its most attractive under the moderate leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, who ran what was arguably the first genuinely centre-right government in independent India. There is still space for that agenda—a combination of right-wing economics and conservative, but not extremist, politics.
The BJP would do well to amputate its Hindu right agenda and become a mainstream centre-right party. Any agenda of hate and exclusion (which Varun Gandhi led the BJP into) is unlikely to garner enough votes in what is essentially a secular country. Such an agenda is also unnecessary to be a viable political party and must, therefore, be revised. For this, it may need to jettison some of its older leadership and induct younger, more forward-looking people at the top-rung of the party hierarchy. The BJP has always claimed to have more internal democracy than the Congress—that itself may make it an alternative option for those who dislike the family-run Congress party—and this democracy should be strengthened as the churning begins. Remember also that the Congress is unlikely to follow aggressive pro-industry policies as part of its mandate—the BJP would be in a good position to provide an alternative; it had a much better record on infrastructure when it was in office, compared with the UPA’s last term. And while the BJP rediscovers itself, it must keep in mind that politics is about the long term (and not two general elections). The tide does and will eventually change, but the BJP must be in a position to ride it—it need look no further than the toiling Mamata Banerjee for consolation and inspiration....


punee said...

Dear Dr.Acharya,

This elelction is a real historic one for various reasons.

1.Chiranjeevi has been given thumbs down by Andhra electorate,no more celebrity parties in ANDHRA

2.PMK,MDMDK and VIJAYAKANT have recieved drubbing in TN

3.While CONGRESS did considerably well in ASSAM,the NON CITIZEN(i have no other phrase to discuss) Mani SUBBA ,whos a NEPALI has been defeated!!!

4.There is a huge oppurtunity for BJP in TAMILNADU,since the LTTE is dead,role of actors not welcomed and DMK is all set to become a bigger FAMILY affair than the CONGRESS!!

5.If BJP can go by developement MANTRA in KERALA it could be an alternative to the COMMUNISTS in KERALA.

6.In ANDHRA we need strong leader who can be an affective opposition since,YSR govt is not a positive vote but it was CHIRANJEEVI'S party which cut into OPPOSITIN votes.

BJP can never dream of coming to POWER at the centre without the presence in SOUTHERN STATES.


Anonymous said...

A better analysis of the BJP's defeat is given here,