BJP has been having trouble keeping allies. In a way this is quite a strange problem for a party that had serious troubles attracting allies for years. This was because of the pseudo secular untouchability status conferred on the party by the corrupt ecosystem.
And now it can’t keep them!
Shiv Sena, Akalis and now TDP headed by Chandrababu Naidu?
As the sensible editorial in The Hindu points out, each of these situations has its own dynamics.
Be that as it may, what should BJP do? Actually the more important question is what it should not do! What’s the bottom line?
It should not lose a valuable ally like Naidu. Why? Because he is the sort of progressive, pro-business and pro-development leader that India needs more, not less. And the other option in AP – YSR Congress represents everything bad about Indian politics – dynastic succession, corruption on large scale, far beyond legitimate election expenditure needs, personal enrichment running into tens of thousands of crores. It is a disgrace.
Is this the sort of option BJP should pursue?
But then can it give up on AP ambitions? Of course no party wants to write off a state where it has legitimate chances of improving its own space, tally & votes. And accept junior status. There in lies the dilemma. Which CBN should perfectly understand as well.
But then what is the choice?
There are tried and tested formulas – you keep the center, we run the state model is one. Contest independently but openly, transparently announce a post-poll alliance once people decide who is better is another. Yes, this may mean splitting votes. There could be others.
They should even consider merger!
Yes this may seem heresy but CBN as a great leader, has to have the sagacity to think beyond his own lifespan. What next? What is in AP’s best interest, for the next 30, 40 years? Does he want the state to be looted again by dynastic looters for 5 years or more, simply to “teach BJP a lesson”? Is that what BJP wants? Ask hard questions.
Then it should be easy to find answers.