The post-mortem for the humiliating loss in Karnataka has begun in the BJP and a section of the party is terribly upset with the top brass for failing to handle the 'BSY fiasco' properly and it has discovered villains in veteran leader L K Advani, his loyalist Ananth Kumar and former party president Nitin Gadkari for the debacle.
A senior party leader has said while Kumar continued his anti-BSY tirades and influenced Advani to seek his ouster, Gadkari sat idle and did not do enough to settle the issue so that the party could try to protect its first-ever bastion in southern India with all its energy.
The BJP's tally was reduced to a paltry 40 in the recent assembly election from 110 while its vote-share saw a decline of 14 per cent.
The BJP and the RSS might feel upset with the terrible loss, particularly at a time when the ruling UPA led by the Congress is in a shambles, thanks to the endless number of scams. When the BJP is required to fuel the anti-incumbency mood till the opponent is completely cornered, it has seen one of its strongholds being snatched back by the Congress. Nothing could have been more fateful than than this.
Loss feels bitter, but what's the back-up plan?
But has the BJP learnt anything yet? If it has, then why on earth is its former chief, along with state-in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, is visiting Bangalore to participate in an introspection and chalk out a strategy for its revival in the state? They are also set to help the party MLAs to elect a leader. This is more than surprising. The current BJP president, Rajnath Singh, had said last month that the decision on BJP's much-debated prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 polls will be taken after the Karnataka polls.
Why BJP keep the PM candidate issue to be settled in a worse time?
But now, after the dismal performance in Karnataka, Singh hasn't been heard saying anything even though he played down the problem in the state after taking over from Gadkari in January. Had Singh no idea of what was happening in Karnataka? If he was really aware, then why did he keep an important decision pending till the results of an election, where the defeat of his party was crystal clear, were out? Or has the BJP think-tank become so obsessed with 'Narendra Modi as the future prime minister' that it has lost its links with pragmatic politics?
Not impossible by the standard of the party's current functioning.
Are top leaders trying to forget Karnataka like a nightmare?
The defeaning silence of Singh and Modi after the loss suggests that Karnataka was a lost case for the party from the very beginning and now, the leaders who matter for the party's future role in the national politics are ready to forget the nightmare and move ahead. But this silence can not conceal the fact that the national party could not deal with a local issue with perfection.
Managing local issues has been a challenge for both national parties
This has been a bane for both of India's national parties. While the BJP's top brass struggled to deal with the BSY factor, the Congress high command has had a similar experience while trying to rein in the ambitious son of the late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy, Jagan Mohan. The Jagan factor has been a headache for Sonia Gandhi ever since he floated his own YSR Congress and there is every possibility that the Congress could lose its major bastion in south India next year owing to this. It has already tasted the bitter pill in Lok Sabha by-polls in the state held last June.
Was BJP's top leadership too busy pursuing selfish ends?
The BJP's disunited top leadership has tried to utilise every given situation to meet selfish ends. The delay over settling the crisis meant that more parties started to fish in the troubled water. Why was there no united effort to end the standoff between BSY when he was the chief minister and the Bellary brothers? Was the top leadership deliberately trying to keep the flames alive so that personal aims were satisfied at the end? It is a futile exercise now to demonise Yeddyurappa for all the negative outcome.
It is surprising to see that the BJP leaders are busy accusing each other after the loss and trivilialising the cause to find a new beginning in Karnataka by means of sending a failed leader like Gadkari there. The BJP's top team didn't find it enough to kill the bird, it is also busy burying it after the death.
Bringing back Gadkari to Karnataka shows the BJP is least bothered about the humiliation
It is very baffling to see why not Modi and Singh heading to Bangalore to see what has gone wrong in Karnataka. What will he do know when he couldn't do anything when it mattered? Loss is not a concern in a democracy but when one doesn't take a lesson from the loss and tries to rectify the mistakes, it is a big worry. The BJP ridicules the undemocratic style of functioning of the Congress high command, but what has the 'party with a difference' done to show it is different?
The BJP, which is witnessing a shrinking base across the country, has only one leader to pull it out from the hole and he is Modi. Whether he is acceptable among the secular electorate is a different question altogether but at the moment when the BJP is fast approaching a point of identity crisis, he is its only trump card. Why waste his chances and endanger the party more by backing mistakes with more mistakes?
Does anybody know the answer?