Aamod Hegde
Sad State of the BJP’s Central Leadership
This article originally appeared in CRI content has now been subsumed in The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of

Without an iota of doubt there is a growing disconnect between the common BJP karyakarta and the party’s central leadership.  Many of the party’s Delhi-based leaders are actively encouraging factionalism within the state units. If the trend continues, I have  doubt whether the party will be able to exploit the anti-incumbency wave that is blowing throughout the country. This trend alone has the capability to lay the foundation for another round of UPA in 2014.

Many a party sympathizers are shocked at the inexplicable act of Advani, writing a scathing blogpost on Yedyurappa. Few even deem it a completely unethical act and perhaps justifiably think that it smacks of hypocrisy  Advani  himself has been part of encouraging factions within the Karnataka state unit even when Yeddyurappa was CM and was stoking Ananth Kumar’s CM ambitions. Also many BJP cadres and supporters are astounded by public criticism of party’s affairs by the patriarch. Neither it befits his stature or makes political sense.   One might argue the trend is not new and even Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his heydays had criticised Kalyan Singh and Narendra Modi. But during that time the party’s central leadership under Vajpayee still had the capacity to win elections. The party surely hasn’t learnt anything from two rounds of defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

As a result of the massive drubbing the party received in two consecutive polls and due to the leadership vacuum created after Vajpayee’s retirement, many an undeserving leaders, just with right connections, started occupying the organisational posts. These are neither men & women with any electoral appeal nor in constant touch with party workers. At least half of the Vice Presidents and General Secretaries of the party are electoral non-entities.

It is true that a political party will prosper only when it attracts talent from outside of its organizational network. But BJP today is so full of such people that a common party worker’s voice doesn’t get heard at the top.

During 2nd year anniversary of the BJP government in Karnataka, the same Sushma Swaraj who now claims she was never associated with the Reddys had praised only Sriramulu and the Reddy brothers. She never uttered a single word of praise about the sitting CM Yeddyurappa.

Isn’t it ironical that BJP’s so called central leaders who should have the capability to win elections for the party need state leaders to win their own elections. Advani needs Narendra Modi to win his Gandhinagar seat. Arun Jaitley needs Narendra Modi so that he is elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Sushma Swaraj needs Shivraj Singh Chouhan to win her seat from Vidisha. Yeddyurappa helped Venkaiah Naidu to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

After the Karnataka drubbing, BJP needs to rethink its leadership strategy and take steps to preserve the federal structure of the party. High command culture is showing signs of getting deeply entrenched  in the party and the central leaders endlessly interfere in the affairs of the mass leaders at the state level. Keeping so many electoral non-entities who can’t even win a Lok Sabha seat for themselves is no great strategy at all. Lok Sabha elections are just a couple of months away and the party is running out of time.