Agenda-2009, perhaps 08

After BJP, now the NDA has put their seal on Advani’s name. Officially he is the Prime ministerial candidate of NDA, and if put in power, we will see this old man as our next PM. During the declaration they also talked about a national agenda of which good governance, development and internal security will be the founding stones.

Looking at the current scenario, it seems congress does not have much in the offering for the coming elections right now. I do not see whom they will declare as their Prime Ministerial candidate? With Manmohan Singh more of an economist than politician and Home Minister Patil already lost election in 2004, none from their camp meet the stature and experience of Advani. The AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, is not even a cabinet member at present, will he be pitched for the top job? Also with his road shows proving nothing more than crowd pullers [crowd which does not turn out to vote for them] makes Sonia Gandhi more sceptical. Moreover the fear of losing and putting him against a heavyweight like Advani further thwart her. Somebody tell her that winning and losing is not that important right now. Its time to prepare him, and unless he is not in the battle, you can not realize his potential, strengths and weeknesses. The idea of serving him the top job on a silver platter will never go down with the people. If he wants it, than he has to fight for it. Moreover if you loose today, than you will win tomorrow, it’s all part of the game. But easier said than done.

We have already talked about the brouhaha which the political pundits created some time back, when BJP named Advani for the top job in ‘The Advani Code’ [] so the point of interest right now is the national agenda. Although it is quite early to speculate about it, but the speed with which NDA is going and the way things are shaping up at centre it won’t be long before we see the agenda for general elections 2009 perhaps 2008. The question right now is not when it will be out, but what will it be about? Will the agenda be about failures of congress or on achievements of BJP? Will it be talking about plight of kisans or some concrete plans to save them from suicide? Will it just be crying on the increasing levels of corruption at every level, or taking a firm stand against any and every kind of dishonesty? Will it be just about shinning India or resurrecting Bharat, full of opportunities for everyone irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, social status? Will it be about deteriorating condition of law and order or ascertained justice for all?

All this will be the warp and woof of the campaign. But there is something which will distinguish the campaign for 15th Lok Sabha from the prior ones. After the result of the Gujarat assembly elections, a lot has changed. For instance what to campaign? How to campaign? Whom to campaign? And currently BJP very well knows the answer to all the above questions. Modi gave an altogether new face to Hindutva. Some call it Moditva others soft Hindutva, however it is nothing but nationalism and this nationalism is the other face of modern day Hindutva. The way he talked about terrorism and how it has emerged as the biggest threat to the country’s integrity, development and off course peace, was marvellous. He proved that no compromise can be made when it comes to internal security. He sent a strong message across the nation, if any kind of lenience will be shown then it will prove fatal and which is also true.

Today the country is progressing like never before, and the greatest challenge which we are facing is terrorism and internal security. People might say that Modi won because of this or that, but actually with the feeling of security which he provided to the people, he scored home run. People forgot about Vanjahara when the question of their own security arose. The internal security of the country is in a bad position, and with Uttar Pradesh becoming a Huji Pradesh, the situation will get worse. At this point Moditva/ Soft Hindutva/ Nationalism, call it whatever you like is the scoring point which has the potential to drive NDA home, and hence internal security will be the strongest pillar of NDA’s agenda. In the current scenario for congress, it will be a hard nut to crack.

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