The BJP is perhaps the worst opposition India has ever seen which has the best opportunity to return to power, thanks to a messed-up government. Or why else should it fail to make a steady move towards the goal with less than a year left for the elections?
BJP banking too much on one leader
The problem with the party is that it is too much obsessed with Narendra Modi, its poster boy for the next polls. It is ironical that an organisation-based party, which is backed by even stronger affiliates, has banked on a personality to win back power it had lost nine years ago.
BJP has acted just like how the Congress wanted it to
The BJP is shouting over corruption, price rise, economic slowdown and every other plague that has affected India at the fag end of the rule of a tainted UPA government, but what is baffling that it has not succeeded to present any alternative plan before the disgusted electorate. The strategy is more like retaliation over the same charges against Modi.
If the Congress accuses Modi as 'communal', 'merchant of death', 'Rambo', 'Mogambo' and what not, the BJP is just happy defending him by hurling back the abuses in equivalent terms. A responsible Opposition is expected to act more than this, besides, of course paralysing the Parliament over every second issue.
BJP squandering a big opportunity
We all know that Manmohan Singh is a big failure as a prime minister, and so is his government, particularly in the period since 2009. Every step his government has tried to make, has been reduced to a disappointment and at the moment, it seems India is more on an auto-pilot mode, ready to crash anywhere at anytime.
The BJP couldn't have found a better opportunity to assert itself. But unfortunately, it is only ready to explore the path till the point of criticism and not beyond. Why doesn't it present an alternative model of governance before the people and show that it is better than the Congress's dual leadership model?
Instead, it is yet to collectively endorse Modi's leadership even though he has been officially elevated in the party.
Modi must show the way to present an alternative model: A BJP model
It is very important for Modi to take the initiative on behalf of his party, since he has emerged into a prime leader. The man has stressed strengthening the party bases at the grassroots, encouraging youth volunteers and making use of the social media as steps to build up the campaign for 2014.
What is also important for him is to lead a programme to highlight the alternative administrative model that will be pursued from the Centre if he comes to power. He has been speaking on various issues like foreign policy and economy at public gatherings but that might not have a deep and all-encompassing impact.
Only praising his own governance and state will not going to earn much benefit to either him or the BJP. For a distant farmer in West Bengal or a salaried person in Tamil Nadu, it is very important to know how can a NDA regime led by Modi tackle their own problems. Modi must speak about alternative ground policies that he would pursue as the prime minister. That will serve two purposes:
One, he will help the distant electorate identify itself with him, and
two, it will help him and his party present an instant poll manifesto without indulging in any negative propaganda against the ruling coalition.
One feels by only projecting Modi, the BJP is somewhat going the way of the Congress during the days of Indira Gandhi. Have the others in the party all been dwarfed to a point of no significance? It's hardly a party then, one fears.
Why not rope in seniors who were part of NDA government?
Take for example, Yashwant Sinha. Couldn't the BJP use the former Union finance minister years to corner the UPA on its budget calls all these years? Why wasn't he given a task to prepare an alternative budget to show that the NDA can be a better alternative? Why not former foreign minister Jaswant Singh be asked to lay down alternative foreign policy outlines? These senior men could be of help for a new leadership for they had been in governance.
Why is that the BJP today is more happy projecting the Narendra Modis, Raman Singhs and Shivraj Singh Chouhans as successful administrators (and sometimes even competing individuals) rather than project a universal BJP model of development that will include high points from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and other places where the BJP have tasted success?
It is key for Modi to take this fact into account before he sets off for his national journey. But then again, he is yet to sort out who is ready to board his plane and who is not.
Way to go. If governance is an art, so is opposition politics.