A party is not about just winning elections. After winning the election and forming the government, the party's role changes. The focus then shifts to management: of the floor, of the alliance, of the opposition and so on.
Everyday challenges in Parliament and out and BJP is struggling to deal with them
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now in a phase where it requires this transformation fast. As the party is entering deep into its ruling era, one could sense that there is a lack of managerial skills in its ranks at some level. The fiasco over the Nirbhaya rape convict's interview, the difficulty over passing the land bill and the undying controversy in Jammu and Kashmir over the release of separatist Masrat Alam show that the BJP badly needs a skilled manager apart from its face Narendra Modi.
PM needs a Pranab Mukherjee
The prime minister needs a Pranab Mukherjee to deal with the challenges that are being thrown at the ruling regime. Modi's PR skills are undoubtedly good, but yet it might be too much for him to carry the entire burden of the party and the government on his shoulders whenever there is a need to face challenges.
Always reacting on ideological grounds is not a wise idea for BJP
In Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP perhaps took a strong stand far too early after the PDP chief minister decided to release Masrat. The saffron party raised the issue of national security. But as an alliance partner, the party needed to take up the issue with the PDP on grounds of procedural drawbacks.
Since the BJP raised the ideological question, it became an easier target for the opposition parties in New Delhi who said the BJP was compromising with the national security. The BJP could have avoided this situation by dealing the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir without a noise. Prime Minister Modi has shown the maturity of not taking an aggressive stand vis-a-vis the PDP and take the BJP to a point of no return.
Subtle management is what the saffron party needs
If the just-formed government in Jammu and Kashmir crumbles at this moment because of the Masrat issue and Governor's rule is imposed on the state, the psychological gap between New Delhi and Srinagar will only widen. As the ruling party at the national level, the BJP has an extra responsibility to ensure that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not betrayed and alienated by calling off the alliance in the state.
The BJP for that requires a subtle management skill and not just ideological bragging.
Regarding the land bill, the BJP is struggling to take even its own allies, the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, into confidence after they have openly opposed clauses of the bill. A Pranab Mukherjee-like figure in the ranks of the BJP could be a useful resource to deal with these challenges. But the new-age BJP under Narendra Modi is yet to have such a veteran troubleshooter.
Can it learn from the experience it is undergoing?