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HomeGlobal NewsAfter Mohan Bhagwat's Manipur message, RSS-linked magazine says BJP workers were 'overconfident',...

After Mohan Bhagwat’s Manipur message, RSS-linked magazine says BJP workers were ‘overconfident’, some leaders ‘happy in their bubble’ | India News – Times of India

TOI News Desk

NEW DELHI: In the last 10 years, BJP’s top leadership has come under several scathing attacks from the opposition ranks. But results of the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections seems to have opened a new worrying front for the saffron party, that failed to win a majority on its own despite Prime Minister Modi’s strong “abki baar, 400 paar pitch.”
A day after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat‘s strong message on the “neglect of Manipur for one year” and “lack of decorum” during campaigning, an article in a magazine linked to the RSS says the BJP workers were overconfident and some party workers were happy in their “bubble” enjoying the glow of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aura but not listening to the voices on the streets.
The article in the latest issue of “Organiser” magazine also noted that though the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is not a “field force” of the BJP, the party leaders and workers did not reach out to its ‘swayamsevaks’ (volunteers) seeking their cooperation in electoral work.
Neglect of older dedicated workers who worked without the urge for recognition by the new age social media-aided selfie powered activists was also evident in the poll results, said the article written by Ratan Sharda who is a life-long member of the RSS.
Sharda noted that the idea that Modi was fighting on all 543 Lok Sabha seats had “a limited value”. “This idea became self-defeating when the candidates were changed, imposed at the cost of local leaders and defectors given more importance. Sacrificing even well performing parliamentarians to accommodate late comers hurt. It is estimated that around 25 percent of candidates were seasonal migrants,” he said.
“This happened despite the shocking experience of 30 per cent rebels in the last Himachal Pradesh elections that resulted in defeat of the BJP. Local issues, track record of the candidate does matter, one can see. Disinterest of local BJP workers was due to this factor too,” he added.
Sharda, who has authored many books on the RSS, cited the case of Maharashtra to flag “unnecessary politicking” as one of the many reasons behind the BJP’s underperformance in the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP fared very badly in the state winning just 9 Lok Sabha seats.
“Maharashtra is a prime example of unnecessary politicking and avoidable manipulations. NCP faction led by Ajit Pawar joined BJP though BJP and split SS (Shiv Sena) had a comfortable majority. Sharad Pawar would have faded away in two-three years as NCP would have lost energy with infighting between cousins,” he said.
“Why was this ill-advised step taken? BJP supporters were hurt because they had fought against this Congress ideology for years and were persecuted. In a single stroke, BJP reduced its brand value. After years of struggle to become numero uno in Maharashtra, it became just another political party without any difference,” he added.
Sharda also pointed at the induction of some Congressmen into BJP, who had “actively promoted” the bogey of saffron terror and persecuted Hindus and also called 26/11 ‘RSS ki sazish’ and branded RSS as a terrorist organisation. “This showed the BJP “in poor light” and also hurt the RSS sympathisers “immensely”,” he wrote in the article.
The life-long RSS member also took a dig at the culture of posting selfies, which has been actively used to mobilise support by BJP’s top leadership.
“Showing off is more important by posting selfies with a multiplier effect is the new norm. If BJP volunteers don’t reach out to RSS, they have to answer why they thought it was not required?” he said.
“To seek (RSS) swayamsevaks’ cooperation in electoral work, BJP workers, local leaders need to reach out to their ideological allies. Did they? My experience and interaction tells me, they did not,” Sharda said.
“Was it lethargy, overconfidence, sense of comfort that ‘Ayega to Modi hi, Abki bar 400 plus’? I do not know,” he said.
Mohan Bhagwat’s message
On Monday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had expressed concern over peace eluding Manipur even after one year and said the situation in the strife-torn north eastern state must be considered with priority.
“The situation in Manipur will have to be considered with priority. There is need to get over election rhetoric and focus on problems facing the nation,” the RSS chief asserted. The unrest either got triggered or was triggered, but Manipur is burning and people are facing its extreme heat, the RSS chief had said.
The RSS chief stressed the need for consensus between the ruling side and the opposition so that work for common good (of the masses) can be carried out. Polls are to gain majority and it is a competition and not war, Bhagwat pointed out. Political parties and leaders bad-mouthing each other are not taking into account that these may cause rifts among communities, he said and lamented that even the RSS was being dragged into it without any reason. There are always two sides in an election but there should be dignity about not resorting to lies to win, the RSS chief asserted.
Manipur plunged into violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities in May last year. Since then some 200 people have been killed, while thousands have been displaced following large scale arson that has gutted homes and government buildings. While Amit Shah and other senior ministers have visited the state several times, Prime Minister Modi has not visited Manipur ignoring the demands of several opposition leaders.
(With inputs from agencies)

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