GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014
It is not about Jaswant Singh being some saviour for the people of Barmer. It is also not about the Barmer Lok Sabha constituency being some hellhole for its people who are desperately looking for a saviour and Jaswant Singh can deliver for them.
Yes, being a career politician of the BJP with a respectable presence in the national politics, Jaswant Singh certainly did not deserve this treatment, especially when his demand was not something about withdrawing Narendra Modi’s prime-ministerial candidature, something that makes Narendra Modi insecure.
Jaswant Singh should win from Barmer as an independent candidate because it would tell the BJP and Narendra Modi and other politicians that there should be more to the outcome of the electoral process than to mere ‘winnability’ of the candidate. Jaswant Singh should win to tell the BJP that Narendra Modi was absolutely wrong here.
Okay, we cannot bank on pre-poll surveys for some finality as of now, but there are strong anti-Congress sentiments and almost every one accepts that, including the senior Congress party leaders who are leaving the party like a sinking ship is deserted or leader like P. Chidambaram who are not willing to contest this time.
If Congress is staring at a historical doom, it is because people are frustrated with its politics that it has practiced in the last 10 years and they do not want to see it in power again; they do not want to allow the Congressmen to decide on people’s lives again.
But the way the BJP is accepting defectors from the Congress party and members from other political parties of the UPA alliance, is enough to defy that purpose of ‘people seeking change through these elections’.
Even in case of Barmer, a Congress defector who left the grand old party of India recently, was given preference overriding Jaswant Singh’s demand to contest his last election from his home constituency. And it is not with just this choice, many other controversial and worn out names of Congress and other parties have been fielded by the BJP.
Considering ‘winnability’ in elections is logical but it should not wash out the purpose of electoral mandate to bring the change.
The BJP strategists say the Congress defector is a Jat leader and can score a win by attracting the Jats who are the trend-setting chunk of the voters in the Barmer parliamentary constituency.
But given the strong BJP performance in the recently held Rajasthan assembly polls that gave the party 7 out of the 8 assembly segments of Barmer, a senior politician like Jaswant Singh could have easily won, especially when he comes from Barmer.
That tells us, apart from the mad rush on ‘winnability’, it was also the internal BJP muck including the larger-than-party presence of Narendra Modi that denied Jaswant Singh a ticket from Barmer.
The nation needs a stable government and strong prime minister that Narendra Modi can become but the nation certainly doesn’t need a larger than life prime minister who cannot tolerate the voices of dissent. Now, every one knows that Jaswant Singh is from the L K Advani faction in the BJP that Narendra Modi is persevering to make ineffective.
It is true no one has expected and no one should expect the BJP to follow the politics of probity. Like others, BJP is just yet another political party of the worn-out political system in India where taking a moral stand is seen as an outdated and irrelevant practice. And so this move from the BJP is not surprising.
Yes, but, Jaswant Singh’s win from Barmer would be a pleasant surprise and a befitting reply to Narendra Modi and the BJP.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/