What Amit Shah is Selling and How Opposition Can Counter BJP


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Amit Shah, the President of the BJP, is a hardworking man. He is a seasoned politician who has a wide experience of politics and elections. Elections after elections, he is becoming more sharper and he is eyeing on the big prize and wants to win more than 300 seats for the BJP in the next Union elections. He is traveling all over India and organizing the BJP for the next elections. Wherever Amit Shah goes, he stresses three important points in a meeting with the BJP cadres:

  1. The BJP/RSS is having “internal democracy”

Amit Shah stresses that because of the “internal democracy” in the BJP, it stands out among the other parties, particularly the Congress Party which is dynastic and ruled by the single family. He also contrasts the BJP with the parties like SP and RJD which are also single family dominated parties. He cites his own case as the party president and he claims that his position is also not sure and not permanent. He is thus making claims that the BJP practices internal democracy. We do not know if it is true, but it makes a good impression of the people that the party practices internal democracy.

The Congress party is struck in the dynastic rule. The internal elections are not held and the party seems to rely on the Gandhi family. Maybe, it will change the guard as till date Rahul Gandhi is not made the President of the Congress. He is the Vice President of the Congress. To the BJP’s credit, they have effectively devolved the power and Amit Shah is the full-time President with no responsibility of the official post.

There is a lesson for all the political parties to learn from the BJP in this regard. In all the political parties, except the communists and the BJP (and both are cadre-based parties), the single leader or single family dominates the party and official positions. The BSP (also a cadre based party till a long time) is no exception where all the power is concentrated in the hands of one person. If the BSP takes a leaf out of the BJP’s book and makes democracy an integral part of its party organization, it can reach to the new heights.

  1. The BJP/RSS Government must deliver on over 100 welfare schemes

Amit Shah outlines over 100 welfare schemes and stresses on the implementation of those scheme in tandem with the state governments. This is interesting because he does not talk of other schemes, but only welfare schemes because they can become a vehicle to reach out to the poor, the constituency that the BJP is focusing aggressively. The opposition parties must come up with the cost-benefit analysis of these welfare schemes and must show that they are not working if they need to counter claims of the BJP. Amit Shah is always showcasing the states of MP and Rajasthan as the paragon of development. He claims that the BJP Government had brought these states out of their BIMARU status. In the end, showcasing policies do not work in the elections, but a good preparation is needed to show the failure of Government in the BJP-ruled states.

  1. The BJP/RSS has a charismatic leader in Narendra Modi

Amit Shah claims that Narendra Modi is a charismatic leader and he can deliver the results. He always stresses the importance of the personality of Narendra Modi as the strength of the BJP. It is true that the BJP succeeded in posing Narendra Modi as a strong leader and the leader of the masses. The BJP/RSS used all the resources to project Narendra Modi as the leader of India’s youths and the man who is committed to the national development. The opposition party must find ways to train their guns on Narendra Modi and his personality cult. This can be done in several ways and one of the ways will be to expose his stream of lies and he back stepped from the promises he made. The opposition can also expose the failure of his policies and his anti-democratic methods. They can completely expose his way of working in the dictatorial ways.

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Amit Shah is also claiming in the meetings that India followed the wrong path of construction after the power was transferred to the Indians. He talks about “reconstruction” of India and the construction that Congress party under Nehru started was wrong. He wants to make India “sone ki chidiya”: the sparrow of gold!! But, the opposition party can make a frontal attack on this thinking by counting the successes of the Constitutions, the success of secularism and the success of the democracy though partial but at least opened up new opportunities for the backward classes. He should be told that India was close to Some Ki Chidiya at the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka whose rule was completely different from the rule of the RSS/BJP. The “Golden Age” always lies in the future and given the political scene of India, we are not approaching golden age in the reign of the RSS/BJP.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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