Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Fact File : India votes 2014

India votes 2014                                                                             19 Mar 2014

In its attempt to make friends and influence a broad section of voters, the RSS has rehashed the old rhetoric of everyone living in India being a Hindu by definition.

The RSS foray into politics has not been sudden; in fact, it began soon after the BJP lost the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. The gradual decline of party veteran  L.K. Advani, the appointment of Nitin Gadkari as BJP president and, more recently, the selection of Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate were all stage-managed by the RSS. “The RSS involvement does not need a confirmation at a Press conference,” said a senior BJP leader.

A part of the reason for the RSS involvement appears to be the loathing for the “political style of doing things”. Sources say there was a rising perception among the RSS cadres that the BJP has lost its ideological moorings and become akin to the Congress. It is this view that has led to the RSS tightening its hold on the BJP. Sources say even finer points like “who will be placed on which side of Modi in posters” are now cleared by the RSS.

For the past six months, RSS leaders in UP have been working to plug holes in the BJP’s poll strategy. Sources say Modi is likely to visit 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state before the polls. The RSS head quarters in Nagpur in Maharashtra has also suggested that Modi contest from UP. Among the constituencies being screened for Modi are Lucknow, Faizabad, Varanasi and Allahabad. As of now, Lucknow and Faizabad are said to be the favorites.

The Sangh has different strategies for different regions of the state but the macro effort would be to bag as many seats as possible for the BJP. The focus is on youth and backward castes,” said Bansal, who is assisting Amit Shah, Modi’s man Friday who is in charge of the campaign in UP.

The RSS is trying to lure the backward castes by organizing “social justice meeting” across the state and by projecting Modi’s backward community credentials. In the past two months, the BJP has inducted more than a dozen leaders from the backward castes, which constitute 35 percent of state’s population.

RSS is strategizing, planning dictating, directing even up to the lowest level. BJP and its leadership is just reduced to an off shoort of the main body RSS. 

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