Monday, March 09, 2009

Principled Politics - 1

Why did Naveen Patnaik quit NDA, the BJP-led national alliance? Mint reports:

“I don’t want to go down in history with the stigma of a dirty communal politician,” a BJD leader quoted [Navin] Patnaik as telling party representatives after the break-up of the alliance. “Orissa has never been a communally biased state. Nor has it witnessed the kind of violence the BJP has initiated in the past five years,” the same BJD leader said, declining to be identified.

JD(S) "supremo" Deve Gowda writes a letter to Naveen Patnaik. Here's an interesting bit:

[In his letter, Deve Gowda] recalled that his party legislators in Karnataka too were forced to enter into an alliance with the “communal” BJP. “But, when it dawned on us that beneath all their overt commitments to constitutional norms and secularism lay a covert design to ruthlessly tear apart the nation’s secular fabric and turn the State into a communal laboratory, we decided to call it a day,” he said in the letter.


  1. Anonymous said...

    So, tomorrow if BJD will combine again with BJP it will be again communal :-) It is interesting to see how media, politician and intellectuals in India define secular party.

  2. Anonymous said...

    The main reasons why BJD split with BJP is as follows:

    It felt that BJP was piggy backing on it and really did not add much value. No BJP leader from Orissa has a state wide stature. After the events in Kandhamala it is despised by a large percentage of people in Orissa. In recent municipal elections, Zila parishad elections etc., BJP and BJD contested separately (was termed a friendly contest) and BJP was decimated. So basically BJP was not adding much (and was actually a negative) but was asking for too many seats. It was not seeing reason. The BJD suggestion of 5 Lok Sabha seats (out of 21) and 35 assembly seats (out of 147) was reasonable. But BJP wanted it close to what it was before ( 9 out of 21 and 63 out of 147) and only negotiation it spelled out was 1 LS seat in lieu of 7 assembly seats. BJD did not want to waste time negotiating further.

    Other reason that played significant role:

    (a) BJD wants to keep the option of aligning with which ever coalition can form a government in Delhi.

    (b) BJD and most of Orissa is disgusted with the violence in Kandhamala which they believed to have been engineered by some BJP Parivar cadre. Many BJD MPs wanted to split because of that.

    It was a shock to BJP because Naveen Patnaik has been the least troublesome constituent of BJP. He had never thrown any tantrums or demands. He even helped elect an outsider (Balbir Punj) to be a Rajya Sabha member from Orissa.

    What BJP did not realize was that there was a simmering anger inside Naveen and Naveen's style is not to throw tantrums and participate in endless negotiations but quit when his patience was exhausted and his anger boiled over.

  3. Anonymous said...

    In stead of "Naveen Patnaik has been the least troublesome constituent of BJP" I meant ""Naveen Patnaik's BJD has been the least troublesome constituent of NDA."

  4. Rahul Basu said...

    Naveen Patnaik and Deve Gowda are just being too clever by half. The previous comment has set forth the various reasons. It's just opportunistic politics. They would both have to be absolute idiots to discover the BJP's communal agenda this late in life.

  5. Pratik Ray said...

    The talk of communalism is just eyewash. If anything, prior to the alliance in Orissa, BJP's image was even more stridently communal.

    @ Anon: Its pretty clear isnt it? In India, a secular party is one that pampers religious minorities so that they can bag the majority votes. If that means screwing majority so be it! After all, there are enough "secular" people in the majority community to vote against a communal BJP anyway. Funny it was when Karkare's interview in rediff (few days before 26/11) revealed that 90% of ATS were focussing on Hindu extrimist, when 26/11 clearly showed that the major threat was elsewhere. But then, that's secular.

    This election looks bleak. NDA has Advani as a PM candidate, who clearly isnt PM material, and imho shouldnt be voted. The UPA is a pseudo-secular motley pack. And they are never interested in efficient administration anyway. The left front, with CPM et al are, well, simply rabble rousers.

  6. Pratik Ray said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  7. Pratik Ray said...

    edit: meant minority votes.