Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Thriving on multispeak: BJP national executive and its strategies for taking UP

NK Bhoopesh | June 15, 2016 6:37 pm Print
BJP and its leaders are looking to stir the communal pot in Uttar Pradesh to polarise voters ahead of the polls, next year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

With Uttar Pradesh going to poll early next year BJP is leaving no stone unturned to capture the politically crucial state.

All eyes were on the party’s national executive held in Allahabad.

Ambiguities on who will be the party’s face in UP, whether it will announce it in advance, what will be the main focus of  its campaign  in UP, how will it deal with the increasing popularity of  Varun Gandhi were the some  the questions for  which answers were expected from the meeting.

At the end of the two day conclave, BJP could not zero in on a leader to be presented as the chief minister in the event of BJP coming  to power in UP.

Varun continued with his rebellious demeanour by skipping a meeting convened by party supremo Amit Shah to chalk out a plan for the election.

And prime minister Narendra Modi had delivered a speech in the national executive calling  workers to follow certain ideals.

This included restraint, service, dialogue, and sensitivity. This is not the first time Modi is speaking the language of harmony.

Modi since he took over as the prime minister has seen speaking in the language of harmony, restraint and compassion.

Though during the election campaign in Assam he briefly mounted a shrill campaign which could jeopardise amity between two sections of  people.

When Modi was speaking about restraint his party colleague and MP Hukkum Singh zeroed in on another spot, where BJP could play communal politics.

He said Kairana, a small town in UP is witnessing exodus of Hindus due to threat and extortion by a group of people belonging to a particular community (read Muslims).

Kairana, some 100 kms from national capital New Delhi,  has not witnessed any communal violence, many news reports say.

The small town is inhabited predominantly by  Muslims.  Hukkum Singh has come out with a list of 346 people who were ‘forced’ to move out due to threat and extortion.

But Indian Express reports that some of the people in the list brought out by Singh have left the place even 10 years back, seeking good education or employment.

Some in the list have even died, many years ago.

His list conveniently omitted the 150 odd Muslims who moved away from Kaiarana.

Then he come out with a second list, which also has discrepancies according to Indian Express investigation.

Not just an MP, party president Amit Shah also created a ripple when he said the issue should not be taken lightly. This was just after PM made what some news papers termed an emotional appeal.

Even though Hukkum Singh retraced his allegations after Indian Express exposé, a nine member delegation of the BJP visited Kairana on Wednesday, amid protests from locals.

So what does BJP’s UP strategy look like?

Does it mean that Modi’s speech is subterfuge for BJP’s actual tactics in UP?

BJP and its earlier avatar, the Jana Sangh has been accused of multi-speak through their existence.

For a very long time Atal Bihari Vajpayee was presented as the moderate face of this right wing party. But the fact that Vajpayee was a true RSS man and he subscribed to all the ideals that BJP and RSS were  pursuing did not came  in for scrutiny.

How BJP leaders are trying to polarise UP,  on religious lines is evident by the statements by the BJP leaders.

After a forensic report emerged saying that the meat found in Muhammad Akhalq’s house in Dadri belonged to cow or its progeny, BJP leaders swamped the village demanding that action be taken against Akhalq’s family  and the compensation given to the family be withdrawn.

No leader prevailed over those who assembled in Dadri last week trying to stir communal passions.

As the moderate Vajpayee never tried to prevent his fellow party leaders from demolishing the Babri Masjid or later the Gujarat riots, the history of  multi-speak continues in BJP.

And that probably is the takeaway from this national executive as well.