Millennium Post

Better to put up a unified front

Three months back, when the Narendra Modi-led BJP government was elected to steer the country in the wake of extreme anti-incumbency against the previous dispensation, no one had imagined that cracks would begin to appear in the administrative edifice within barely a hundred days of such a massive mandate.

The controversy surrounding Rajnath Singh and his son, even if it is an ‘insider’s mischief,’ doesn’t come across as a healthy turn of events for a newly elected regime that has been voted in with exponential expectations of an 800-million strong aspirational electorate. Rumours indicating that the home minister’s son, himself an up and coming leader of the party, has been on the receiving end of the incorruptible Prime Minister have been doing the rounds in the political alleys of Lutyens’ Delhi.

Filial ambitions notwithstanding, the fact that these ‘baseless allegations’ were ferried out and turned into political grapevine in order to embarrass the high-ranked minister in the Union Cabinet bespeaks uncertainty and insecurity within the ruling dispensation. It must be noted that the home minister had been the BJP president and headed the parliamentary committee of the party before reins were handed over to Narendra Modi’s trusted aide Amit Shah. Moreover, the fact that the unsubstantiated reports were leaked exactly when the grand old men of the saffron party – LK Advani, AB Vajpayee and MM Joshi – were being eased out of official positions with the central parliamentary board and were relegated to nominal ‘advisory’ roles, hint at more tectonic shifts within the governmental and party makeup in the coming days.

It is obvious that the tussle within the ruling regime is really twofold. One is the more overt battle to demarcate the overturned hierarchies that place Shah (and finance minister Arun Jaitley, chiefly) over and above the other senior ministers, even though no one in the regime would admit that. The other, more covert but infinitely more dogged, aim is to facilitate an ideological shift from a politics of patronage to that of a steely efficiency that doesn’t respect the old guard. Under Modi and Shah, the twin avatars of the BJP, that within the government and in the party, are undergoing paradigmatic overhauls, with which old style functionaries are having a hard time keeping pace.

However, it will be in the best interests of the country if the government, still aglow in the halo of a resounding verdict, opts for a more tacit approach, keeping the schisms, inevitable even though they are, under a tighter lid. Instead of preoccupying itself with damage control and mending wrecked organisational apparatus, we expect the government to devote all its energies to meet the astounding challenges facing the economy and our people.               

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