'India is shining, the Congress is whining.'
—A joke in BJP circles
An election is always a gamble and the BJP knows that political uncertainties always loom on the horizon. Yet, if hard work, political strategy, organisational might and long-term planning are the ingredients of electoral success, then the BJP is certainly concocting a potent brew. With the 'India Shining' blitzkrieg having jump-started the party's campaign, it's now entering the second phase of the battle. To keep the sheen and the gloss, hard cash is needed. And things couldn't be better for the BJP. Its coffers are full, the battle plans drawn up, and its formidable organisational machinery cranked up. It is rich and ready to charge into Election 2004.
While the Congress claims to be strapped for cash, there are no shortages in the BJP. The big corporate donations are pouring in. Every business house now wants a piece of the party. For, most business houses expect the NDA to remain in office for another five years. Says a BJP general secretary: "It's quite simple really. If a corporate house is...