The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has enjoyed kid-glove treatment by a larger section of the media than is good for our democracy. Instead of being the watchdog of our democracy, the media, as some have said, is turning into the lapdog of the ruling party. But the BJP tactic of excessive aggression coupled with the arrogance of its leaders is fast approaching the expiry date.
When every economist of note has emphatically declared—based on government’s own data-- that demonetisation was an economic disaster the BJP and its apologist have been trumpeting it as the best thing to have ever happened to Indian economy!
The BJP zealously defends the questionable Rafale aircraft deal by abusing the Congress. Attention is sought to be diverted to the quality of the aircraft when it is not in dispute. The saffron party falsely takes cover behind the ‘secrecy’ clause for its refusal to answer the question on the arbitrary price escalation and why it wants to rope in a crony capitalist to manufacture the aircraft.
A BJP spokesman, addicted to supplicating anchors and being rude if asked an ‘uncomfortable’ question, has likened the Congress to a ‘chameleon’. He is obviously blind to the many chameleon-like acts of his party: Almost all the so-called social welfare policies of the BJP are a rehash of the Congress programmes which were subjected to scathing criticism by the BJP when it was in the Opposition. The BJP volte face on GST is one example of the brazen manner in which the BJP overturns its stand.
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP president, are fond of constantly demanding ‘explanation’ from the Congress for its ‘misrule’ in the past decades. This is BJP’s convoluted ‘iron-clad’ defence against the visible failures of the Modi rule
The BJP handling of the price rise issue has been shameless. Petrol and diesel prices are on a continuous upswing and the likes of Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, want to get away by blaming it on ‘external factors’. Jaitley has done so many U-turns that most people with self-respect will look to hide their face. Did he accept the same logic when the BJP was in the Opposition?
Jaitley can do the U-turns with an astonishing straight face. As the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha he had put up a strong defence of non-stop disruption of Parliament by the BJP. Now he looks at it entirely differently. He had shockingly questioned the relevance of the Upper House even though he owes his entry to Parliament entirely to the Rajya Sabha. His attempts to enter the Lok Sabha ended miserably in 2014 when the BJP candidates were galloping to victory as though mounted on a supercharged race horse.
The logic of ‘external factors’ being responsible for sky-rocketing petrol and diesel prices fits ill with his party’s campaign on the issue during the UPA rule when crude prices were twice of what the NDA government was paying till very recently. The NDA government has obstinately refused to help the consumer by way of reduction in central taxes on petroleum products. The finance minister—once described by a Congress leader as BJP’s Inspector Clouseau, the bumbling French sleuth in the Pink Panther series—and his party say that the excess revenue has been spent on social welfare measures. Is he suggesting that the BJP-led NDA would not have taken up any social welfare measures if crude prices had remained high?
By the way, the Clouseau reference was made in relation to his failure to unearth any evidence against Rajiv Gandhi in connection with the Bofors ‘scam’ of the 1980s. He circumnavigated the globe only to return empty handed and without any remorse over his failures.
The record drop in the value of the rupee is also blamed on ‘external factors’. But it does not explain why the Indian rupee figures among the worst performing currencies in the world?
It is sickening to hear the BJP spokesmen blaming the Congress for every ill in the country—and making the disgusting claim that India progressed only in the last four and a half years of Modi Raj. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the BJP president, are fond of constantly demanding ‘explanation’ from the Congress for its ‘misrule’ in the past decades. This is BJP’s convoluted ‘iron-clad’ defence against the visible failures of the Modi rule.
The Congress has not said it is an infallible party. The BJP equivalent of the Spanish Don Quixote-Sancho Panza duo—the Modi-Shah duo—refuses to admit that their party ever takes a wrong step. By haughtily refusing to give an honest account of its rule over the past four and a half years, the BJP shows it contempt for accountability. Its leaders have been caught making misleading statements, if not outright lies. Many of them have no control over their tongue. Recently, the Rajya Sabha presiding officer had to expunge a remark made by the prime minister. A dubious first!