In BJP-yukt Bharat, Congress must focus on national security

Quick Register
User Name:
Human Verification

Go Back   UNP > Chit-Chat > News

UNP Register


Old 21-May-2016
Miss Alone
In BJP-yukt Bharat, Congress must focus on national security

The BJPís expanding imprint, the Congressís diminishing footprint ó thatís the sum of assembly poll results in four states and a Union territory. What we have is more of a BJP-yukt (fitted) than a Congress-mukt Bharat.
Ousted from power in two states, the Congress is abysmally down. Not out. Its 115 seat haul in five battles compares better than the BJPís 63, the bulk of which came from Assam. The saffron party improved its vote and seat share in West Bengal and Kerala but failed to open account in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
But is that the way the Congress should be looking at the outcome? Not really. Having grown at its cost, the BJP now rules most states with issues impinging on national security: Assam, Arunachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and also Gujarat. It has none except itself to account for myriad internal security and cross-border challenges for which it blamed the Congress in these states.
The politically-guided discourse on cross-border terrorism, relations with Pakistan, illegal migrants from Bangladesh and the boundary dispute with China could see now a reversal of roles. If the BJP fails to measure up to the task, it could well be handed down the whipping boy role the saffron outfits had foisted on the Congress by showing it as being soft on what they called Islamic terror.
At the kernel of the saffron victory in Assam is the popular outrage the Sangh kept fuelling, post the AASU agitation, over furtive arrivals from Bangladesh. Its campaign distinguished between Hindus who were welcome and Muslims who werenít. How they handle now the complex problem with a bearing on ties with Dhaka should engage the Congress. Will it?
All these are the openings the Congress cannot exploit with the wavering focus and scattered vision it has shown in its critiques of the NDAís handling of Nepal or its hyped up engagements with China and Pakistan. The answer isnít in becoming a latter day BJP. Itís in proving the UPAís pro-talks approach right retrospectively.
Kashmir, for instance, is in ferment under the PDP-BJP working at cross purposes in Jammu and the Valley, exacerbating alienation among Muslim youth. Itís hard to see on the ground the realization of the PMís promise to make the regime work in national interest. The BJP has countless questions to answer there. The Congress isnít posing many! Not at least the way it did in the AugustaWestland controversy when its leadership came under attack.
So a change the Congress can effect faster is the way it ideates, debates and deliberates internally to put forth its policies and track-record when the BJP is seen as tripping on issues of national import. A case in point: The NDA had the UPA on the mat on the Sharm-al-Shaikh statement referring to Indiaís alleged role in Balochistan. In comparison, the Congressís riposte to the NDA allowing a Pakistani team into the terror-hit Pathankot air base was tepid.
Getting its talking points right would also help the Congress in the 2017 assembly polls in seven states, including Gujarat and Punjab, where it will be pitted against the fire-spewing, glib-talking Aam Aadmi Party. Getting the communication strategy right in a polity where airwaves are clogged could be competitive but not as cumbersome as an organizational makeover.
One isnít sanguine therefore about the Congress undergoing a quick-fire overhaul. The efficacy of a round of musical chairs is doubtful also as the party needs to alter its glacially slow work culture. India has changed. So must the grand old party. More than at the top, it needs young boots on the ground. Lazy congresspersons crowding party ranks need to be retired or redeployed.

Old 21-May-2016
Re: In BJP-yukt Bharat, Congress must focus on national security