What is next for BJP ?

General elections are now near enough to seriously concentrate political minds. At this early stage it would appear that the BJP needs to concentrate its mind more than the Congress; of course both parties have hugely complicated tasks given their ambitions of heading a coalition to power. 
The BJP’s relatively tougher position is explained by two factors. One, its brand positioning as a coalition partner. Second, its internal leadership structure. In an irony that should make the BJP cringe, the party, after almost having written the textbook on how to run a successful coalition, now finds itself back to square one. It was unable and/or unwilling to take sufficiently convincing positions on either the dreadful violence in Orissa or on the investigations against so-called Hindu terror. The volte face on Hemant Karkare is striking even by the low standards of Indian politics. And this kind of politics has justly made the BJP a potentially troublesome alliance leader for many regional parties, even those who have no love lost for the Congress. The BJP’s “success” in the J&K elections is another good demonstration. It may have got more seats but its politics in Jammu has cost it friends of any kind. The Congress lost PDP and gained the National Conference. The BJP’s loss of NC simply cannot be balanced. So, for the RSS to now tell the BJP that it understands the latter will have to run a coalition is not proof of sensibleness. It shows the muddle the Sangh Parivar is in.

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