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Vipaksh Mukt Bharat: How Modi, Shah want to herald the golden age of BJP

Weapons include hindutva, sundry corruption and money-laundering probes into opposition leaders

Archis Mohan 

Amit Shah, Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah at the party headquarters to celebrate victory in UP and Uttrakhand Assembly elections. Photo: PTI

At its Bhubaneswar executive on April 15, top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership discussed the contours of a ‘vipaksh/virodh mukt Bharat’ – an India without opponents and Recent developments in and Chennai indicate the first few steps that Narendra government and have taken in that direction.

The twin weapons of the government and in achieving a ‘vipaksh mukt Bharat’ are the spread of – led by icons Modi, chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath – and sundry corruption and money laundering related investigations by probe agencies into the acts of omissions and commissions by leaders.

The slogan at Bhubaneswar was no longer ‘mukt Bharat’, which chief had first propounded at the party’s August 2014 council meeting in New After recently formed governments in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand – three of these states had governments – Shah’s slogan is now to herald the “golden age” of the

In Bhubaneswar, Shah said this “golden era” is yet to become a reality despite the party’s victories in recently assembly polls. He said this “golden age of will dawn when the party will have governments in Kerala, Bengal, and northeastern states” and would have expanded from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Kutch (in Gujarat) to Kamarup (in Assam).

Although, the party formed the government in Punjab, the believes would soon be all but irrelevant once it loses elections in Himachal Pradesh by the end of the year, and in Karnataka in May 2018. The currently rules these two states. It also has state governments in smaller states like Meghalaya, Mizoram and Puducherry.

Meanwhile, the rest of the is in disarray.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party has not just lost the election but is staring at a split. The Yogi Adityanath government has ordered probe into some of the decisions of the previous Akhilesh Yadav government, particularly into the expressway project.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati is faced with political oblivion, and there are fresh cases against her party and younger brother related to disproportionate assets.

In the neighbouring Bihar, the latest Supreme Court order is a jolt to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad. He now faces the prospect of a longer jail term; which hopes could disturb his party’s alliance with Janata Dal (United). leaders have even invited Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to revive his alliance with Such a development would potentially rule out Kumar as a possible challenger to in the years to come.

In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party is in a crisis. It not only faces internal feud but sundry corruption related cases have been lodged to investigate decisions taken by the government.

Similarly, in the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, or AIADMK, could face a split. Several of its leaders are under scanner of probe agencies. It could force them to join BJP, which is keen to strengthen its organizational strength in the state.

In Andhra Pradesh, YSR chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy is being investigated into a disproportionate assets case.

In the neighbouring Telangana, state Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrashekhar Rao is set to face a campaign of the in the weeks to come after his government’s decision to provide reservations to Muslims. He is also being investigated into old cases.

Then there is a long list of leaders and their kin who are enfeebled by CBI and Enforcement Directorate probes. ED has questioned leaders P Chidambaram’s son, Motilal Vora and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda. Congress’ Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh faces a CBI probe.

Trinamool Congress, the ruling party of West Bengal, has its own set of problems with its Members of Parliament in jail over corruption charges. There are charges against leaders of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal.

Other leaders like Janata Dal (Secular)’s HD Deve Gowda and Nationalist Party’s Sharad Pawar are now a shadow of their past selves.

The Opposition, therefore, is looking at the presidential elections to show its strength and fight for its survival. But given the lack of credibility of most of these leaders, there is unlikely to be any public support for them.