23 June, 2021

Life After Hawala

Outlook reviews the BJP's prospects in the states where it commands a major presence

Life After Hawala

THE first flush of the dream died out in November 1993. This was the first election after the Ayodhya demolition and the subsequent dismissal of the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. TheBJP, riding the crest of a wave till then, went in with the slogan "aaj paanch pradesh, kal saara desh" (today we take five states, tomorrow the nation). But a waning Ayodhya fervour saw them lose three states, getting only Rajasthan and Delhi. Mulayam Singh Yadav took Uttar Pradesh and the Congress, despite visible signs of organisational decay, bagged the other two. Over two years later—as senior BJP leader A.B. Vajpayee flagged off party chief L.K. Advani's rathyatra from Ernakulam's Marine Drive on March 9—it is clear that the party is still chasing that long-cherished 'tomorrow'. And despite the hawala hurly-burly, it knows that tomorrow may be just two months away.

To realise this resurgent dream in the 11th general elections, the BJP has to lean back on its extended family. So, as Advani fights to clear his name in the hawala...

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