The upcoming Karnataka assembly election is a litmus test of how far the newly awakened Hindu political consciousness has really spread across the country. It is an important election in more ways than one.
Karnataka is the first & only southern state where BJP has formed a Government, albeit with the support of 6 independents in 2008. However, in 2013 the electorate in Karnataka rejected BJP and brought back Congress with a thumping win.
Here are 5 reasons why Kannadiga voters must this time choose BJP, and stick with that choice for successive terms –
1.) BJP-ruled states are better governed than non-BJP ruled ones: Any objective analysis of the last 2 decades of Bharatiya politics will show this to be true. Gujarat, MP & Chattisgarh have shown remarkable progress on a host of indices – economy, agriculture, infrastructure – precisely because the electorate there has stuck with BJP term after term. The 1-3 year old BJP Governments in Haryana, Maharashtra, UP, Jharkhand, Assam are also showing far better signs of governance than what those states witnessed under non-BJP predecessors. The nation as a whole has developed much faster and with better long-term vision under NDA Governments (first ABV, now Modi) compared to UPA terms.
2.) BJP does better from its second term onwards in any state – The first time BJP comes to power in a state, it faces fierce resistance from the secular Nehruvian establishment which drains most of its energy and causes it to under-perform. There are also chances of intra-party feuds, specially if there is no clear regional leader and a weak central BJP team. Think back to Keshubhai-Vaghela struggle before Modi emerged as a clear leader in Gujarat, or the Uma Bharti -Babulal Gaur- Shivraj Singh tussle before Shivraj stamped his authority on MP.
Yes, there was factionalism in the previous Karnataka Government formed by BJP from 2008-13, but there is little chance of such instability if BJP wins the 2018 election. Back then, BJP leadership at the centre was the weakest one has ever seen – with likes of LK Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj , Anantha Kumar unable (or unwilling) to stand up to the vicious attack launched on the BSY Government the moment it took charge. BJP supporters will remember how BSY, a mass leader with high energy and good administrative skills, was thrown under the bus –
- Not a day went by when CM BS Yedyurappa did not face some controversy, either manufactured or real, from a hostile media and civil society ecosystem.
- The state’s Lokpal Santosh Hegde became a media rockstar – no other state’s Lokpal has ever got such publicity before or after.
- Governor HR Bhardwaj was a corrupt Congress veteran & dynasty retainer who did his utmost to prove his loyalty to the Congress High Command, and converted the Governor’s residence into a den for anti-BSY plotting.
- The Reddy brothers, the real trojan horses in BJP and the one’s deeply involved in mining scams along with Andhra CM YSR, plotted furiously to unseat BSY.
- Of course, the Church too played its part with a well-scripted ‘Church under attack’ narrative in 2008 – immediately after BSY took charge.
The present BJP leadership in Delhi will not allow media and secular narrative to destabilize a popularly-elected CM in the same way. They listen to ground workers while appointing a state CM, and back whoever is finally chosen even when the going gets tough (think Himanta Biswa Sarma, Fadnavis, Khattar, Yogi etc.)
3.) Corruption will be contained: Karnataka is a state rich in minerals (iron ore) and with a booming real estate sector centred around its capital Bengaluru. So it is a natural target for the corrupt politician-business nexus. Contrary to the popular narrative which has painted BSY as the most corrupt politician ever to emerge from the South, the real corruption saga during the last BJP term was the Reddy-Reddy tango, not the Yeddy-Reddy story repeated ad-nauseam by liberals.
Discretionary allotment of Government land at less than market price is something which all politicians in Karnataka have been guilty of, and even former CJI HL Dattu has been accused in a murky land scam. The Congress scion Rahul Gandhi is currently out on bail in a similar land scam. This is the one charge that can be levelled at BSY personally, but in his case he ensured that his son returned the land that was allotted to him. Apart from that, there were credible murmurs of horse-trading as BSY tried to save his Government from falling due to machinations of several enemies, internal and external, he was continuously fighting single-handedly.
The massive corruption that Karnataka has witnessed under the Siddaramaiah regime, and the role of murky ministers like DK Shivkumar, KJ George and other leaders like Lad brothers has been hidden from public view because the external paint of left-liberalism protects Congress from any meaningful scrutiny. It is amazing that a halo of ‘progressivism and development’ still hovers over YSR, the deceased ex-CM of united Andhra Pradesh, who led arguably the most corrupt state Government ever witnessed in the history of our country, apart from giving carte blanche to all manners of predatory missionaries.
Yes, some dubious characters still exist in the Karnataka BJP unit, and the exigencies of electoral politics requires one to sometimes deal with such people. But the strong central leadership of BJP, along with the RSS influence, will ensure that any future BJP Government is not hostage to such wheeler-dealers.
4.) Karnataka needs to stop the Islamist cancer from spreading: Congress is pally with the radical Islamist organization PFI (Popular Front of India) which is behind the murder of several Hindu activists in Karnataka in the last few years – R Rudresh, Santosh, K Raju are some of those who have fallen victim to this brutal quasi-terror organization. PFI has strong roots in North Kerala and is gaining in Dakshina Kannada district. It is also being investigated by NIA for organized grooming of Hindu girls (Love Jihad) for supply to ISIS jihadis.
Siddaramaiah has taken the appeasement of such radicals to never before seen levels – he dropped 175 criminal cases against PFI activists, and PFI returned the favor by withdrawing its candidates in this election to support ‘ the strongest secular party’ i.e. Congress. Another term for Congress could well mean further mainstreaming of these Islamist thugs and a Kerala-style breakdown of law & order under guise of ‘political violence’.
5.) Give a strong response to Congress’ divide and rule strategy which aids #BreakingIndia forces: Congress is a past-master at silently dividing Hindu society, along caste & regional lines, and then slyly reaping the benefits from the ensuing polarization and divisiveness. Giving a ‘minority’ religion tag to the Lingayat community is just the latest gem to emerge from the Nehruvian ‘Idea of India’ stable – first they crank up the benefits for minorities, even riding roughshod over the Constitution when needed (cue 93rd amendment), and then sit back and watch the fun as Hindus fight for ever smaller slices of the pie.
In desperation, Siddaramaiah has also deepened the North-South faultline, questioning budgetary allocations and mocking ‘North Indian’ leaders like Modi, Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath, and spreading propaganda of ‘Hindi imposition’. The sheer irony of a ‘national’ party falling to such gutter-level politics is lost upon Siddaramaiah and his dynasty overlords.
Come 12 May, the choice before Kannadigas couldn’t be clearer.
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