After three years in power, the economy is in a tailspin so as the ruling BJP. The saffron party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sending out confusing signals in a desperate attempt to cover up the monumental failures to fulfil its promises, particularly on generating employment opportunities. Hence, the government is over-hyping on certain campaigns and trying to create an impression that good days or the much hyped ‘Achhe Din’ by year 2022—two years after the country goes to Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Besides all other political analysis and assessments, the one crucial factor that has emerged from the recent cabinet reshuffle and expansion is Modi’s preferring retired bureaucrats for ministerial berths over leaders with political acumen. The very thought of banking on bureaucrats is apparently stemmed from a thinking that his party leaders are not delivering or their decision-making and its implementation are not matching with his calibre and he wants that his government should be seen as delivering at all levels before the next Lok Sabha elections.
The scene is not different in the BJP-ruled states as well. Its governments in the states are heavily dependent on bureaucrats, who are calling the shots. There are numerous examples and the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Haryana often face criticism that bureaucracy is not in its limits. There is a growing perception among the BJP workers that the bureaucracy is ruling the roost and the “babudom” is hurting the interests of the BJP. The BJP National General Secretary Vinay Sahasrabuddhe had stated this in public at a meeting in Bhopal calling that there was a need to fight this perception.
After “Babus”, it’s the sins of “Babas” or the so-called Godmen that has come to hound the BJP. Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction’s and BJP’s initial ominous silence over the issue after dera supporters run amok also points a finger towards the BJP’s links with such Babas. Besides, there are also social media posts and photographs of BJP leaders seeking blessings of Falahari Baba from Alwar in Rasjasthan who was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh home minister Ram Sewak Paikra and another BJP leader Renuka Singh were in news as they were found seeking blessing and medicines from a “Kambal Baba” in North Chhattisgarh.
Most of the Babas, including the high profile ones, have become “Sarkari Babas” as they are seen organising one social campaign or the other. All this apparently seem to be a concentrated effort to divert people’s attention from the core issues such as demonetisation that has thrown the economy into a tailspin—resulting in job loss. One Baba taking about solving the Maoist problem while another Baba is on a campaign to save the rivers.
The BJP supporters, despite their all anxiety about the outcome of elections, however, hope that Modi will somehow pull a victory in 2019 elections. But Modi-Amit Shah can already see the undercurrent and the way they are trying to woo and cobble regional parties together is itself an indication.