It is unusual that the announcement of a new team of office-bearers of a political party evokes so much media attention. But the BJP president Rajnath Singh'snew team attracted a wide-ranging debate. This is in itself flattering. For, this in some way reinforces the public excitement about the party and its position as the pre-dominant political formation in the country. People see in the BJP the next government.
True. All the analysis were not objective, or unbiased. Some of them were rather obtusely self-serving, though not exactly hostile.
There is a high level of disillusionment with the UPA regime. The BJP may not be the natural beneficiary of this in some places. Ever since the BJP lost the 2004 Lok Sabha election the party has been a victim of bad press. Even its good performance in state assembly and local bodies elections could not change that media disdain. However, the new party chief has wisely kept himself away from all controversies. His assured and nuanced approach to issues earned him many admirers. He is both positive and proactive. His bright political instincts as in the case of his decision to visit Singur and to extend support to fasting Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee enhanced credibility. With state assembly elections in favourable states like Uttaranchal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh lined up, it is natural that the leadership qualities of the party chief will be under constant watch. And he will tread carefully. This was in display in ample measure as he reconstituted his new team.
The new team is a carefully crafted exercise in political manoeuvre and accommodation. He resisted the temptation to change for its own sake. He has cobbled together a young team of office-bearers, sticking to the principle of continuity with change. Since the BJP is fortunate to have a large array of talented and experienced leadership reserve, it is not an easy task for any leader to present a perfectly inclusive team in an organisationally exclusive structure. The beauty is that he has not disturbed the rhythm of the onward march. It is a new face, a new look team but sculptured essentially out of the party'sestablished and proven leadership composition. By effecting minimum possible changes he has tried to accommodate and balance all sections, both new blood and old guard. Sagacity, cohesion and purpose rather than personal choices seem to have weighed heavily in the making of the change over set-up. This is a hard task executed with artistic finesse.
Every move of the BJP is keenly observed by its sympathisers and detractors alike. The focus is too glaring. The party is in an enviable position to take advantage of the UPA government'spro-rich image, appeasement overdrive, unmitigated price rise and general disarray. The country would hope an early end of the dangerous drift in governance under the UPA misrule but the UPA'scontinuance in office for the full term will immensely enhance the NDA'schance to reclaim its former elan. The BJP can, under the new leadership, use the interregnum to rebuild itself, win over new supporters and expand its base. The party also will have to concentrate on cementing the NDA as a more alert and articulate opposition to occupy the centre stage. The NDA has to expose the failing and contradictions in the ruling clique under the extra-constitutional remote control dispensation. The task is cut out for Rajnath Singh'snew team.