Amid all the ruins, the BJP should feel motivated to settle one issue permanently and not allow it to destabilise its electoral fortunes further. And that is: officially declare Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its future leader and back him with a strong organisation.
The party is too much involved in meeting day-to-day challenges within itself and within the NDA and there is little focus on strengthening the organisational base across the nation. It is an irony that at a time when Modi himself is looking to expand his support base across the nation, his party is witnessing a pathetic shrinking of its base.
It has lost a number of elections in the past one year which has seriously jeopardised its plan to expand its wings. Karnataka's loss has meant that the party has found itself confined in the Hindi heartland once again, something which doesn't match its ambition to come to power at the Centre in the near future.
It is high time that the party now rallies behind Modi and not try to save face every time a BSY or a Nitish Kumar threaten its organisational strength. Sources involved with the BJP's campaign in Karnataka said that the outcome could have been worse had Modi's appeal not worked in Bangalore and Hubli-Belgaum regions.
The Modi effect, although it is claimed did not work in the state, but succeeded in reviving spirits of the cadres who back him to be the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
It is something like India losing a cricket match after sending Sachin Tendulkar to bat at number six. "He must open the innings", the chorus gathers strength after the debacle.
The BJP has been hit by instability owing to a fragile top leadership which has clearly failed to manage local issues, a glaring example being the BSY issue. And amid this tug-of-war between the directionless top leadership and scattered state leadership, it is Modi's stable leadership which has gained prominence among the disheartened party supporters.
The Karnataka loss should send one clear message to the BJP and that is: It can not allow itself to remain confused between whether to go for Hindutva or development and must back the second with all its strength. Or else, it will find the task to expand its base across the country an impossible one.
Recently, the BJP workers' displeasure over Ananth Kumar prolonging their wait for Modi to take over the microphone sets the message clear: Bring Modi in front fast if the BJP wants to survive. He is the only hope for a party which is, otherwise, in a great disarray at the moment.
The decision needs to be taken fast. The BJP can not afford to lose any more assembly elections, making the ambition to come back at the Centre more difficult to achieve. It is high time the BJP overcomes the internal rift and ensures a smooth transition for Modi onto the national stage. Karnataka raised a major alarm.