Supercop’s Spectacular Triumph and Jamshedpur Lessons for BJP
A National level Football player. A Doctor. A Former IPS Officer who was a Superintendent of Police in Jamshedpur and courageously took on the mafia. Recipient of President’s Bravery Award. Ex-DGM at TATA Motors. Ex-Country Head at Max Neeman International. This is the stunningly spectacular curriculum vitae of Dr. Ajay Kumar.
And after 4th July 2011, he can proudly add Member of Parliament, Jamshedpur Constituency to his admirably long list of accomplishments. The thumping victory of this new rising star in Jharkhand politics, which is generally seen as the theatre of the absurd as a consequence of infamous ‘resource curse’ playing havoc on the political system of the state, has come as a pleasant surprise.
For someone who quit the police service due to political pressure, taking on those very people in the electoral battlefield is no mean feat. And come out on triumphs in an election where Coalition-Dharma was disregarded in the utmost manner and every major party in this part of the country fielded its own candidate, is simply Tour de Force.
Dr.Kumar steamrolled BJP,JMM,AJSU and Congress candidates on his way to the LokSabha. Electoral decimation of his opponents was so complete that every opponents of his in the fray lost their security deposit. But as magnificient was his victory, what was startling was the magnitude of loss of the BJP State President and a seasoned political veteran Dineshanand Goswami. This result is clearly indicative of the NDA’s decline in Jharkhand. A politicaly expedient but a morally dubious alliance with the JMM and frequent internal conflicts has weakened the party, and in a quadrangular electoral battlefield, it is finding its voter base diminish rapidly. Jharkhand, once a bastion of the BJP, is now an open battlefield.
Factional feud in state units is now an epidemic in the BJP. From Maharashtra to Uttarakhand to Jharkhand , this syndrome is seriously undermining the performance of the party and also increasingly affecting its credibility and rendering suspect its ability to perform as the principal opposition party at the Centre, though parliamentary wing’s performance has been spirited at times.
Dr. Ajay Kumar’s party, the JVM, was itself an outcome of a similar factional feud, in which rootless,scheming central leaders connived and conspired to throw out a highly popular Babulal Marandi. He went ahead and formed his own party, which is now seriously challenging the BJP for political primacy. Leaders who have been expelled from the BJP historically have usually suffered in wilderness and political obscurity or returned back to the party fold. Marandi could well turn out to be the first leader expelled from the BJP who would emerge as a truly independent political powerhouse in his own merit – this has serious implications for the party.
Amidst all this, Dr. Ajay Kumar’s triumph has been significant in many ways. Highly educated professionals from the middle class seldom enter politics. Way back in the 90’s, he was instrumental in reducing the crime-rate in Jamshedpur. And the people of Jamshedpur have acknowledged that by electing him. This election has established the fact that, given an option,people are willing to elect an honest and young candidate. That is a dulcet change from the customary electoral outcome.
This country needs more young and dynamic leaders like Dr. Ajay Kumar, whose lives exemplify the virtues of honesty, sincerity and the zealousness to give something back to the society.
And given that BJP has been completely devoid of creative political energy and has all but abandonded any pretense of being a learning organisation one is not sure if the wise men in the party would even introspect this pwnage by the supercop in Jamshedpur. Near sweep of top 30 Indian cities(save Kolkatta) was instrumental in BJP’s rich harvest of LS seats in 98 and 99 elections. 2004 saw the relative decline of party in its traditional urban stronghold – party faced a electoral catastrophe in major metropolis of Delhi and Mumbai but still managed to sustain its dominance in rest of urban landscape. 2009 saw further signs of urban erosion as it lost in impregnable strongholds like Jaipur/Surat etc but still managed its relative edge over Congress in urban sweepstakes.
Come 2014 and if its going to field Goels, Malhotras, Guptas, Dattareyaas, Ananth Kumars and Joshis, it can brace itself for a possible complete urban electoral thrashing.
Supercop’s spectacular success in Jamshedpur is yet another demonstration of erosion of BJP’s relative credibility factor. Unless BJP discards tired, discredited party faithful, is open to absorbing lateral talent and strategically fields sympathetic achievers from different walks of life in urban seats, electoral eclipse of the party in the urban landscape is an inescapable reality.
Mohit Dayal is a perspicacious young political observer and a well wisher of CRI
(Image courtesy http://www.magnificentjharkhand.com)