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Opposition leaders' ideological vulnerability: Political significance of Rajya Sabha results

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

The Rajya Sabha poll results have shown  vulnerability of political leaders and their readiness for cross over to BJP, whose muscle power is well known. It uses all methods to win an election, and right now it has all big agencies and money power under its disposal, hence it can easily influence things. Even the presiding officers are  ready to dance to the tune of BJP leaders, as evidenced from the Chandigarh Mayoral elections. It is clear that BJP will do everything to steal the mandate.  
Given the nature of resistance and resentment against the policies of governments in different states, it is the political leaders who are betraying the people, because all of them now appear to feel that, whatever happens on the ground, BJP can't be defeated. All those who cross over, and there are many fence sitters who suffer from the feeling that BJP leaders are least bothered about farmers' and other protests, think that BJP can't be defeated. This is dangerous for the future  of democracy.
In Uttar Pradesh, MLAs belonging to the Samajwadi Party cross voted. In Himachal Pradesh, a  large chunk of Congress MLAs voted for BJP. It means that the party's vote management did not work. DK Shivakumar in Karnataka personally supervised the entire thing, and ensured that Congress won all the three seats. Opposition parties  must understand that their leaders are on the radar.
In Uttar Pradesh savarna (higher caste) MLAs of Samajwadi Party shifted to BJP. In Bihar the same thing happened with the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Many of the leaders in these parties are now crying foul and blaming Akhilesh Yadav and other leaders for over-pampering savarna leaders. Facts are not that simple. There is no doubt that this is Amrit Kal of Brahmanical savarna leaders, who are now more loyal to BJP. Except a few committed leaders, most of them have realised that their domain will only be possible under this Amrit Kal.
The Samajwadi Party has to think about this before it says anything. Why does it need Jaya Bachchan in Parliament? What is her contribution? Why can't young and articulate voices of the Samajwadi Party get a chance to serve in the Rajya Sabha? The same is true with regard to Manoj Jha, who got elected again from RJD. The question is, are there no other Dalit or backward leaders in these parties who can articulate things? 
The probelm is, the leadership understands the Brahmanical link of these leaders with media and other connections in power. But as  long as they are given plum positions, they will remain with the party; otherwise they will choose other greener pastures. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, RJD and the Congress need to think that it is not just that upper caste people are leaving for BJP. The question is why Nitish Kumar, Om Prakash Rajbhar and so many others too are aligning with BJP. 
The problem is, we have surrendered our rights to the leaders, and they compromise. We need ideologically-committed political leaders like they were in the Communist parties, or dedicated workers of BSP and the Ambedkarite movement, who remained committed to their ideologies, whether their party wins or not. 
The INDIA alliance must sit together and campaign together in many places, particularly Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It is important to understand that efforts are being made to create the impression of invincibility of BJP. But, clearly, things are not over and can change if tickets are given to right candidates and parties fight the elections with sincerity and seriousness.
*Human rights defender 



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