Thursday, November 25, 2010

BJP’s day of electoral victory and moral defeat

Seats fought 102, seats won 91, no, it was not in Egypt or in one of the so-called democracies in the Middle East. This happened in India, to be more precise in the just concluded elections for the Bihar Assembly, the results of which were declared yesterday, and the political party getting this magical success ratio is the Bhartiya Janata Party. The party’s candidates even won from a majority of the constituencies where the Muslims formed more than one fifth of the population and against Muslim rivals put up by the RJD-LJP combine and the Congress. Almost a clean sweep, it is a phenomenal achievement the like of which any political party in India may not be able to repeat in a long time. BJP deserves the nation’s congratulations and its coalition with Janata Dal United good wishes not only to last for the full term of five years but also to attain its ambition of making Bihar one of India’s developed states by 2015.

So far so good, but on that very day, at the precise hour when the victory in Bihar looked certain according to the trends thrown up by the state-wide counting of votes, the BJP president Nitin Gadkari announced that the party’s chief minister in Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, would continue in his position. Only a couple of days earlier, on studying the state government’s files on land denotification and allotment by Yeddyurappa, the top leadership of the BJP had confirmed his culpability and had asked him to step down. BSY quickly set up a judicial commission under a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court to inquire into the land scam and his own role in it, but he refused to resign, adding insult to the high command’s injury by saying that no one had asked him to do so.

BJP’s volte-face on Karnataka has taken a large part of the shine off its unprecedented performance in the Bihar election. It has also considerably weakened its case for instituting an inquiry into the 2G spectrum and Commonwealth Games scams by a Joint Parliamentary Committee by giving the ruling Congress-led alliance at the Centre a chance to accuse it of practicing double standards.

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