By Sushil Kutty
The jolt the Bharatiya Janata Party sustained in Ghosi assembly seat of Uttar Pradesh is being blamed by sections of the BJP on Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Behan Mayawati, who allegedly told BSP supporters to cast NOTA. But the NOTA numbers on counting day did not support the theory. The BJP was looking for alibies when the Ghosi defeat was the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the Yogi Adityanath government’s policies, the fallout of rising prices and rampant unemployment. Now, realisation is dawning that an understanding should have been reached with the Bahujan Samaj Party just like the one with Karnataka’s Janata Dal-S.
Former Prime Minister H D Devegowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) and the BJP have tied up in Karnataka to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha elections together, This was disclosed by former BJP Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa whose dalliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party is here today and gone tomorrow. This time, however, the belief is strong that the former Chief Minister can be trusted with telling the truth.
The BJP’s alliances in the ‘South’ for the 2024 general elections are just now beginning to shape up. If in Kerala, not much tweaking is possible to the present status of the BJP in the state mainly because of the Malayali’s cradle-to-grave antipathy to Hindutva, in Tamil Nadu, the BJP and its alliance with AIADMK can only hope to cash in on the fallout of Udhayanidhi Stalin’s disparaging remarks and despicable characterisation of the Sanatana Dharma as some sorts of untouchable diseases.
This is the first time, the BJP/RSS Hindutva ideology will be making a loud play for votes in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. How much of a success it will turn out to be is at best a guess. In Karnataka, however, Udhayanidhi Stalin and Priyank Kharge’s anti-Sanatana Dharma remarks followed by Congress politician Parmeswara’s contribution on the same subject are setting the stage for the BJP-JD(S) alliance to come centre-stage in a 2024 fight to the finish. The Congress is confident it will score big by throwing mud at the clueless Hindu.
The Kharge father-and-son are leading lights of INDIA. They believe millions upon millions of Hindus will vote for the Congress in 2024 in some sort of lopsided perversion. The Congress Chief and his Karnataka minister son are aiming for Dalit votes. The Dalit are Indians who have been fighting Brahminical tyranny for centuries and while at it, struggling to get to pray and preach in Hindu temples. Like Swami Vivekananda said in 1912, Kerala is a “cauldron of castes, but he could have been speaking for the whole of South – Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Following the BJP’s Karnataka loss, much water has flown down the rivers in Karnataka. Also, after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, INDIA has notched its first few electoral victories and “Rahul Gandhi for PM” has become part of the political Tik-Tok at tea-shops and around dinner tables. These are not nice sounding to sensitive BJP ears. The BJP wouldn’t like a “Ghosi” in the South.
Also, Mayawati’s BSP and Devegowda’s JD(S) are not the same for the BJP. The BJP treats both differently. BJP chief JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah had met HD Devegowda to discuss the modalities of the alliance but no such overture was there for Mayawati. According to the deal, the JD(S) will contest four Karnataka Lok Sabha seats from a total 28 constituencies. In 2019, BJP won 25 and the Congress and JD(S) one each. The BJP cannot afford to record less than the 2019 total.
And with INDIA on to a winning start, straight off the bat, the BJP is aware that nothing can be left to chance. Nowhere in the South, whether Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh, can the BJP get lax and sluggish. That said, in Andhra Pradesh, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu cannot seem to free himself and his party from “harassment” at the hands of the Jagan Reddy government. Early on September 9, ‘CBN’ was arrested by the state CID in the multi-crore Skill Development Scam.
The arrest came in the wake of several attempts by Chandrababu Naidu to get friendly with the BJP, including with the BJP top brass. But the BJP wasn’t forthcoming, preferring to keep Naidu hanging and things uncertain even as the YSRCP kept alive a fragile “you help me with funds; I help you in passing bills” hold with the BJP. After Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest, there is little chance of a TDP-BJP alliance. Despite evidence to the contrary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue to sell his muted slogan “Na Khaunga, Na Khaane Doonga”.
Under the circumstances, all that will be left will be an unrealized hope of a BJP-YSRCP alliance. Looks like Jagan Mohan Reddy scored a masterstroke. The BJP has been left with little room to outmaneuver and no option to join hands with the TDP. Unless, of course, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to dump ‘Na Khaunga, Na Khaane Doonga’.
The formation of INDIA has stymied the BJP’s chances of roping in alliance partners. While its alliances in the “north” are under strain, things could get worse now after the Ghosi debacle. The Samajwadi Party must look like a better bet to align with. And in the “south”, with strong regional parties, there are few like-minded parties with which the Bharatiya Janata Party can align and fight elections together. (IPA Service)