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Has Modi-led BJP Made AAP Irrelevant ?

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Message Jagdish Pathak

"Anna and Arvind are the beacons of change. Public wants a change from the existing politics of immense corruption," observed a former college mate and a senior faculty member in Ajmer, India. People went berserk when news flashed that government of the nation may arrest Anna and Arvind (Kejriwal). It was a time when everyone thought of going for a change and these two names were in everyone's discussion.

Yes, Indian people changed the past political setup and brought new. However, the beneficiary was not Aam Admi Party (AAP) of Arvind kejrival, a political face carved out of Anna Hazare's movement of 'Lok Pal' in India. It was Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Modi that got the public acceptance for change. People found and wholeheartedly accepted Modi-led BJP in the federal elections.

Arvind contested election as a motif of AAP against Modi from UP and lost it badly. He found no reason(s) not to contest against Rahul or Sonia Gandhi. Anna withdrew as he was experienced enough in understanding that the political face given to his otherwise non-political mass movement would draw blank in real-politick.

The movement of Anna appeared to have been hijacked as it was alleged by many Anna followers. However, Anna never came out strongly against Arvind and his group going for a political party often alleged by Anna group members They rejected the political maneuverings.

People of India were confused when he declared himself a candidate against only Modi who was never a part of corruption at the federal level. What could have been the reason(s) behind Arvind going against BJP candidate for PM position and not against Rahul Gandhi, the PM-in-waiting from Congress? We may not get answer(s) to this all-important question immediately, but answer is surely lying in the vaults of external stakeholders who helped and assisted Arvind to the hilt in defeating Modi led BJP.

However, AAP is now fighting for its survival within 100 days of Modi-led BJP rule in India. Kejriwal is slowly and steadily losing his grip with the group members who were active volunteers and office bearers and were once the face of his party. His trump cards either switched hands or are waiting in the wings. Because, unexpectedly, public at large has found PM Modi a different person than what they were made to believe. Media, ruling parties, and some vested-interest NGOs did their best in creating an image of a monster out of Modi when he ruled the state of Gujrat. The same media found Modi different and took no time in singing paeans of him.

Has AAP become irrelevant in the changed scenario? Most probably the answer is in affirmative. Modi-led BJP is entirely a changed face of the old guard-laden BJP. Now is a rare situation of 'feel good' in India where ministers are monitored for almost every decision taken and advised if found amiss on any front.

No tantrums of coalition partners and no blackmailing anymore by the regional allies. Modi is provided complete mandate and with this mandate he made a great beginning on the international front. His ministers do not open mouth with personal views embarrassing him but work extra time to provide 'good governance' visible to the voters of India. Modi-led India is on its way to make big-bill corruption a thing of the past.

BJP has in fact made AAP party completely irrelevant to the voters, which can be seen in the most recent state elections where it got majority without joining the old and current allies of the NDA, viz. Akali Dal and Indian National Lok Dal both in Haryana, and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Incidentally, Akali Dal and Shiv Sena are ally of BJP in the national government. Such is the confidence in Modi of the voters and vice versa that on its own Modi-led BJP got majority in Haryana where it used to have four legislators in the local assembly.

Maharashtra election results were satisfactory as BJP could miss majority by approximately two dozen legislators but came out as a single largest party in the state and that too on its own. It is very possible that BJP will go for a minority government in the state of Maharashtra with outside support of NCP. I have a reason to believe that Modi-led BJP will not behave like Congress or erstwhile BJP believing in party-hoppers. Modi-led BJP is entirely expected to be overhauled by his close aide Amit Shah.

Has BJP led by PM Modi shifted the paradigm in national polity? Most probably the answer to this question is visible in this limited time of Modi rule. Pakistan-India line of control firing took turn for the worse and his government responded with unexpectedly extra vigor. People of India were made to believe in the promise made by Modi of strong India. China brought its armed forces close to the line of actual control which was a common problem faced by Congress-led rule before. China was dealt with sternly and they retreated. President Obama treating Modi and his entourage with lavish praise even when Modi was not on a state visit to USA, Australia and Canada signed agreements to sell uranium for the nuclear power plants even when India is still having lot to do. Are these not the clear signs of 'paradigm shift'? India is growing its clout and growing it in the right direction.

Modi has taken up various measures to fulfill his election promises. It is very possible that Indian public will know very soon about black money. Those people stashing ill-gotten wealth in the Swiss and other illegal foreign bank accounts are already feeling the heat. Economic and financial situation of the nation is taking an upswing on every conceivable parameter. Indian space research has shown to the world that India is capable in the space technology front by sending a craft in the Mars orbit at the lowest possible cost. 'Made in India' is not a slogan alone. People have started showing interest in the Modi formula of growth.

Indian diaspora who met and saw Modi in the Madison Park venue felt same what I felt and mentioned here. India is changing for better future and if I use PM Modi's words 'Achhe Din Aane Wale Hai', used often by him to exhort voters during the recent Indian federal election. Literally, this phrase means, 'Good Days are expected soon'. Yes, Indian public is on for those good days now under his rule in Delhi.

Author is a keen observer of Indian political economics, a 'right-minded' writer, author, and professor in Canada with a long association of more than twenty years with federal/state government organizations of India.


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Dr. Jagdish Pathak is an award winning research professor of business policy and systems, An OP/ED contributor, and an avid nature and wildlife photographer settled in Canada. He writes on socio-political contemporary issues faced by under (more...)

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