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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 50-51, December 3, December 10 2022 [Double issue]

Deconstructing the Contemporary Paradigm of BJP Politics | Arup Kumar Sen

Friday 2 December 2022, by Arup Kumar Sen


The recent campaigns of the BJP for the impending assembly elections in Gujarat enlightens us about the contemporary paradigm of BJP politics. Preaching hate against the Muslim community is an organic part of this paradigm of politics. This is embedded in the hate/ ‘peace’ speech of the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah at an election rally in the Kheda district: “...such a lesson was taught in 2002” to “those engaging in communal riots” in Gujarat that it led to “akhand shanti” (eternal peace) in the state under the BJP (Shah, quoted in The Indian Express, November 26, 2022). It is reported that the Election Commission has sought the opinion of the chief electoral officer of Gujarat after multiple complaints against the speech of Amit Shah on the riots of 2002. The former economic affairs secretary at the Centre, E. A. S. Sarma, has reportedly asked the Commission to investigate Amit Shah for violating the Model Code of Conduct and defer the polls scheduled on December 1 and 5 in the State. (See The Telegraph, November 29, 2022)

The electoral strategy of the BJP in the Gujarat assembly elections is centred on incorporating ‘turncoats’ in a big way in the list of candidates. To put it in the words of two reporters of The Hindu: “Ten per cent of candidates fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2022 Gujarat polls are turncoats. This is the highest such share of BJP candidates in at least the last six elections, including 2022. Between 1998 and 2012, less than 5% of the BJP’s candidates were turncoats; in 2017, the share increased to 9%” (The Hindu, Data Point, November 29, 2022). This signifies another unethical dimension of the contemporary paradigm of BJP politics.

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