DOST KHAN / ANCHOR
It is time for Bharatiya Janata Party to have some sort of introspection, especially after Shiv Sena found itself in lurch and compelled to fall in the lap or trap of Sonia Gandhi’s Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra, as also successive electoral debacles in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Haryana. True, the BJP had some saving grace in cobbling governments in some of the states that went to polls in recent months but is it enough given the magical charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Why did Uddhav Thackeray felt comfort in the company of arch rivals Congress and NCP? If analysed objectively, the BJP cannot escape the responsibility of pushing the Thackeray’s to wall after adopting rigid stance over the appointment of Chief Minister. In the process it had to lick the dust and stage retreat within a few days from the Mantralya after forming the government with Ajit Pawar, who successfully outsmarted the arrogant BJP. The power of popularity has gone into the heads of some BJP stalwarts, both at the Centre and in the states. They have started treating their cadre at the grass roots level casually and contemptuously. The gulf between powerful BJP leaders and the committed workers at ground-zero is widening with each passing day, even as the party is facing drubbing and finding itself isolated in the mainstream politics. Jammu and Kashmir is a classic example of the BJP’s arrogance and political myopism. The state, which Jammu and Kashmir was, reeling under Pak sponsored terrorism for three decades, served as ideal locale for the BJP to script its saga of nationalism. It encashed the martyrdom of soldiers dying in encounters with marauders unleashed by Pakistan in the form of Mujahids and Pak soldiers on Line of Control in rest of the country. It generated a patriotic fervour in the name of Kashmir and its patriotic people, who suffered at the hands of radicals and Jihadi elements. It got all needed support from Jammu to flourish as the only patriotic political outfit in the country. What Jammu and Kashmir got in return? It got ‘belittled’ and ‘humiliated’ as a Union Territory from the status of a state. It must be the first and perhaps last example of a state getting sliced into a Union Territory. As if it was not enough, the Union Territory is now ruled by middle rung bureaucrats from New Delhi, whose protocol is far lesser than that of senior officers in the Union Government and Members of Parliament. The status of the Chief Minister and the cabinet minister, whenever a political government will be formed in the Union Territory, will be far lesser. Irony of a BJP loyalist getting marginalized and humiliated can be well exemplified by the sordid saga of one of the three Advisors to the Lt Governor in Jammu and Kashmir. After having served as Administrator of Lakshadweep, a Union Territory, he was first made Advisor to Governor and then relegated as Advisor to Lt. Governor, ignoring his status and suitability. Not only that, he was again belittled at the time of allotment of portfolios. All the insignificant departments fell in his lap for his sin of being a loyalist. This is not an isolated instance of how loyalists are belittled by powerful but arrogant BJP leaders. There are numerous such instances when committed and dedicated workers feel isolated in the party forums that they nurtured with their sweat and blood over the years when the BJP was just an opposition entity and nothing more than that. This lot of workers built the party in fortified fort of Jammu brick by brick. Today they feel compelled and pushed to the fence because some ‘smart paratroopers’ are calling the shots. They exploited the devotion of grass-roots level workers by enjoying comforts of power-corridors. They are treating them like lesser entities, who have no entity of their own. As a consequence the cadre is feeling a sense of suffocation due to highhandedness and arrogance of self-centre leaders at various levels. This is fast rendering the BJP irrelevant in its stronghold-once upon a time. Arrogance is taking toll of the party of the nationalists. To be concluded..
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