24 June, 2021

On Home Turf, A Party That Can’t ­Afford To Lose

With an eye on 2019 and Modi again as ­mascot, the BJP’s readying to do all it takes to keep Gujarat

Head Start
PM Modi ­visited his home state thrice in October
Photograph by AP
On Home Turf, A Party That Can’t ­Afford To Lose

Chanakya’s realpolitik is often quoted by the new, aggressive BJP as a guiding force in administration and an effective ideology to deal with enemies. The party has been demonstrating long enough that it is not particularly squeamish about means in its march towards its goals. As it seems more and more that a win in Gujarat may not be a cakewalk, the party is again looking at Chanakya for inspiration. “Saam, daam, dand, bhed (advise, bribe, punish and divide)—we will use all means to win the assembly elections,” Haribhai Chaudhary, MoS (coal and mines) at the Centre, recently told a Gujarati news channel. That the Banaskantha MP had to emphasise the point suggests the party’s fortunes may be down, and it needs some ingenious ideas to get back on track.

When PM Narendra Modi was asked about the party’s prospects in the Gujarat polls at the Diwali get-together at the BJP headquarters recently, his two-word reply was “param sukh”.  Though the phrase translates as ‘absolute bliss’ in English, the PM...

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