First the BJP refused to give its views on the Lokpal bill when Pranab Mukherjee sent them a letter seeking their views. At that time, they said they would do it when an all party meeting was called. After all, they claimed, their views could not be explained in a simple letter. Also, they faulted the format of Pranab’s letter saying it was a “yes/no” kind of a letter....but refused to explain why they could not write a long format reply ignoring the yes/no format of the letter. Now the BJP is saying that they may not even participate in the all party meeting called by the PM. So what’s the BJP game plan?
It’s always been clear to me what the BJP’s gameplan is.
Firstly, the BJP is a duplicitous party which says one thing and does the other. What they do best is play politics....even if the country suffers in the process. When the guilt of this becomes too much to bear, they mouth some highly impractical and highly jingoistic nationalistic slogans and think that people are fools and will be distracted by these statements. They did this on the GST Act. In private, they support it. In fact, the NDA government had made the first moves on the GST. But now, they oppose it without giving any credible reasons for the same. It was the same with the Indo-US nuclear deal. Everyone knows that the BJP is a pro-US party. That much came out in the wikileaks as well (even though, I wouldn’t give much credence to that). And yet when it came to voting in Parliament, they voted against the deal. At that time as well again, they mouthed some random nationalistic statements about “bharat mata” and gave some silly disagreements they had with the bill. With this much known, it’s not difficult to understand their position on the Lokpal bill.
Secondly, the BJP is jammed on the Lokpal issue. They have been in media all throughout projecting great knowledge of the subject. Spokesperson after spokesperson has waxed eloquent about his/her views on the Lokpal bill. Yet and once again, the party showing its true colors. It makes one kind of statements in the media; quite a different kind when it actually matters. If its views are as clear as they appear to be to us lay people, why can’t they just put them down in writing or express them in a meeting? I’ll tell you why. Because, their views in reality, are similar to the Congress’s views. They are not sure about including the PM and the higher judiciary under the Lokpal. They don’t like surrendering their powers to the Lokpal. But they don’t want the public to know this. They want to reap the dividends of the anti-Congress sentiments in the country..
Thirdly, the BJP is secretly hoping that enough parties will vote against the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. This is a risk that the Congress and UPA now run. No matter how many consultations they hold with the opposition, it can never be sure about what the voting pattern will be seen in Parliament. That’s what the Congress is really worried about. Being suckered into a trap by a combination of Anna and BJP. If the Congress presents a strong bill in the Parliament, and if loses that vote, it will have to step down. At that time, no one will say that the party tried hard and the BJP played dirty. The media will report along the lines of their political affiliation. The BJP perceives that it will be able to save its own skin by pointing out some minor disagreements in the bill (like they did in the Indo US nuclear deal) that made them vote against it. But that they support a strong bill. It’s a party that has shown it can speak from both sides of its mouth....so that’s what it will do this time as well. In the BJP’s dream outcome scenario, the Congress government falls and the BJP gets the credit for booting out a corrupt government. That’s the real ploy. Very few people understand this, but that’s what the BJP ploy is.
The idea scenario for the BJP is that the Lokpal bill gets delayed. Delayed by 3 years precisely. So that the Lokpal debate and the Congress bashing is happening around the time of the next elections. But the people should not attribute the delay to their party. It’s the most frustrating thing for them that all the problems the Congress is facing are so early in its life cycle. Even if the Congress suffers now, it can always regain lost ground in the next few years. So what the BJP will do is......try and delay the bill. When it reaches the Standing committee of Parliament, they will try and delay it. They will do all they can.....but behind the media’s glare. In front of media, they will take a “we need a strong Lokpal and quickly” line. The Congress knows this.....hence it will try and push for as strong a bill as is politically acceptable (one that cannot be voted against) and quickly. Ideally, they would want the issue to be sorted out now....so that around election time, it won’t be a big issue.
The real truth is that all that the BJP wants is to sack the Congress government. They have no idea what they will do themselves if they came to power. Their behavior is like the behavior of the common public of
....who all complain about the government’s austerity measures.....but have no solutions to offer themselves. In the case of the BJP, in addition to their ignorance, there is also an aspect of guile. They would like the government to fall....and they would like to reap the benefits of the anti-corruption sentiment.....but they would not like the people believe they had a role to play in this. And media that is politically aligned with them – Times Now, India Today, CNN IBN – will act as platforms for the BJP to exploit. Will this work? I don’t think so. Whoever I have met has said that they want the Lokpal....but they believe both the Congress and BJP are corrupt. I doubt if the people will be fooled..... Greece