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Thursday, April 25, 2024

LS polls: BJP list, Cong’s future

The recent unveiling of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) initial list of candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections reflects a stark display of regimentation within the party under the leadership of Narendra Modi. This move, marked by the replacement of many ministers and sitting MPs with new faces, underscores the firm grip of the high command over the organization. While touted as a display of confidence and strength, this exercise also reveals deeper pitfalls lurking beneath the surface

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The recent unveiling of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) initial list of candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections reflects a stark display of regimentation within the party under the leadership of Narendra Modi. This move, marked by the replacement of many ministers and sitting MPs with new faces, underscores the firm grip of the high command over the organization. While touted as a display of confidence and strength, this exercise also reveals deeper pitfalls lurking beneath the surface. The authoritarian manner in which candidates were selected, purportedly based on internal surveys of winnability, has led to discontent among senior politicians, some of whom have announced their retirements from active politics. Reports of ground-level realities contradicting the party’s internal assessments further highlight the risks of such centralized decision-making. However, amidst these challenges lie strategic moves in the BJP’s candidate selection process, which demand attention from the INDIA bloc, particularly the Congress party. While the BJP may have demonstrated its willingness to drop sitting MPs and ministers, Congress, as a democratic entity, must chart a different course. It cannot succumb to autocratic control but must establish a level of democratic discipline within its ranks. Recent trends within the Congress party have been marred by instances of indiscipline, with some leaders defecting to the BJP camp. This erosion of faith in democratic principles poses a threat to the party’s ethos, especially in the face of an ascendant RSS-BJP alliance that seeks to reshape India’s secular democratic fabric into a Hindu Rashtra.

The BJP’s candidate list serves as a wake-up call for the Congress and the INDIA bloc, urging them to craft a compelling political narrative and field stronger candidates in every constituency. The BJP’s decision to drop sitting MPs suggests a recognition of weaknesses within its own ranks, presenting an opportunity for the opposition to capitalize on. Congress must emulate the BJP’s boldness in candidate selection, prioritizing not only winnability but also the integrity and past records of its candidates. The party cannot afford to tolerate controversial figures who undermine its values with reckless statements. It must also hold accountable those accused of corruption, exposing the partisan favouritism of the Modi government. Moreover, the Congress-INDIA alliance must pay heed to the BJP’s emphasis on social engineering in candidate selection. By fielding candidates from diverse backgrounds and demographics, including women and younger individuals, the BJP seeks to broaden its appeal. Congress must respond with a similar commitment to inclusivity and representation.

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In navigating the electoral landscape, Congress must remain steadfast in upholding the principles of a socialist, secular, democratic, and federal republic. It must resist the temptation to mirror the BJP’s regimented approach, instead championing a vision of governance that embraces diversity and dissent. As the countdown to the Lok Sabha elections begins, Congress stands at a critical juncture. It must rise to the occasion, demonstrating resilience in the face of authoritarianism and offering a compelling alternative to the BJP’s divisive agenda. Only through principled leadership and democratic discipline can Congress hope to reclaim its place as the vanguard of India’s democratic ethos.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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