National

BJP begins polarisation game

The BJP in its usual polarisation drive is trying to fuel the anti-immigrant feeling in Assam into a Hindu versus Muslim conflict in order to extract political dividends in the upcoming polls. The polarisation drive may be extended to different parts of the country by provoking people’s sentiments with divisive issues one after another.

BJP’s Janata Yuva Morcha has begun Rashtriya Ekta Yatra from Kolkata to Kashmir that will cover 3037 kms and will terminate with the hoisting of the Indian Tricolour in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on 26 January. The yatra has the blessings of top BJP leaders. Along with yatra, the BJP is trying to stir up nationalistic emotions by mixing Hindutva in it. BJP has turned down the suggestion of Sharad Yadav an important ally, not to take up the yatra which began from Kolkata on 12 January and will pass through Guwahati and Bihar before reaching Kashmir. The motive behind this Ekta yatra is to provoke people’s sentiments all along the way from Kolkatta to Kashmir. In other words, BJP is walking for “peace” but preaching Hindutva.

BJP in its recent two-day national executive meet in Guwahati raised issues of corruption and scandals like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh housing and the Rs.1,000-crore scam in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district. Party general secretary Vijay Goel, who is in-charge of Assam, submitted a memorandum to the chief election commissioner (CEC) which says “Displaced Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh, currently residing in Assam, have been facing a lot of intimidation and harassment from the government. The BJP demands that they be given citizenship status immediately, if necessary through suitable amendments in the Foreigners’ Act, 1946, and Citizenship Act, 1955.” At a time when BJP is mounting pressure on Congress on the issue of corruption, the Congress has chosen to hit the BJP hard by exposing saffron terror.

The BJP is now putting its maximum energy in projecting scams under UPA regime and for that the party has planned to organise anti-corruption rallies all across India. BJP also left no stone unturned to corner the prime minister over 2G spectrum scam. Of late BJP has been demanding a JPC probe which has been outrightly rejected by the Congress party. BJP, however, has decided not to directly point fingers at Congress president over the recent Bofors hullabaloo in an anticipation that it may backfire in one way or the other. But the Congress is on the offensive and is contemplating a ban on the RSS to exert maximum pressure on the BJP and Sangh Parivar. Congress on 7 January asked the government to consider the pros and cons of a ban on RSS.

The latest revelation about the involvement of some senior functionaries of the RSS and its affiliates in a series of blasts across the country has pushed the RSS on the defensive. Swami Aseemanand’s confession that he along with a group of Hindutva activists had participated in the Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid bombings has left both the RSS and BJP in a state of shock. Ravi Shankar Prasad said that selective leaks by CBI and other agencies seeking to implicate activists of the RSS are “highly condemnable and is being done to divert attention from corruption.”

Absence of Narendra Modi, Varun Gandhi and BS Yeddyurappa from the BJP meet in Guwahati reveals how the BJP is trying to adapt itself to what a situation demands. By keeping Narendra Modi and Varun Gandhi at bay the party has shown that it wants to follow the Bihar Model. Yeddyurappa was kept out of the meet as the BJP did not want to weaken its stand on corruption. His presence could have spoiled BJP’s tirade against Congress. But what is more surprising is the absence of Varun Gandhi who is presently election in-charge of Assam. For Gadkari, the litmus test will be the election in Uttar Pradesh. Gadkari has named Kalraj Mishra, Rajnath Singh, Vinay Katiyar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to look into the affairs of the party in U.P. though he has left BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh guessing by not indicating the chief ministerial candidate.

Gadkari has deputed Jaswant Singh to reconcile with other parties hoping to expand the NDA. Singh’s appointment by Gadkari has surprised many for he is widely known for his stand against RSS. Some believe that he has been chosen because of his recent pro-Muslim book on Jinnah. However, some BJP leaders like Shahnawaz Hussain defied the party line on the issue of reservation for Muslims. Shahnawaz Hussain while speaking at a national seminar on the topic in Rajasthan recently said that we would like the Sachar Committee report to be debated in parliament. The BJP seems to have softened its stand on Muslim reservation.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 4

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