A case of missed opportunity for BJP

Lack of strategy in opposing the resolution in Assembly against CAA

The strategical lapse of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State leadership in prompting its lone member O. Rajagopal to register a strong dissent against a resolution passed by the Assembly against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has rendered a major jolt to a campaign launched at the behest of its national leadership in defence of the Act.

Had Mr. Rajagopal sought a division on the resolution, the Speaker would have been forced to call for a poll and he could have voted against the resolution. And that one vote of Mr. Rajagopal could have presented as a strong demonstration of the BJP’s protest against the resolution jointly moved by the government and the Opposition.

In the absence of a specific strategy, Mr. Rajagopal chose to remain silent when the House put the resolution to vote and it was passed unanimously. The failure in ironing out a strategy has worked out to the chagrin of the BJP State leadership and once again left the party that was trying to build up a resistance to the strong backlash against the Act on the back foot.

Those akin to the legislature procedures deem it as a classic case of missed opportunity for the BJP. Since a slew of petitions are pending against the Act in the apex court, Mr. Rajagopal could have raised a point of order challenging the tenability of the resolution on an issue pending before the court. This would have offered him a breathing space to present the party’s stance on the Act and also defend the Centre for legislating it in Parliament.

Significantly, the lapse has been exposed at a time when the national leadership is sweating it out to reiterate the Central stance on the issue, especially in Kerala where the government and the Opposition have teamed up to put the BJP in the dock on the issue. The slip in seeking the division may get passed off as a naive act, but has rendered a major jolt to the party machinery that had been building up a campaign.

The stance of Mr. Rajagopal against the Central decision to do away with the quota for Anglo Indian community too has sparked off a discussion as it contravenes the stated position of the national leadership on the issue. This is also being cited as a pointer to the lack of cohesion in the State unit that had been remaining headless since P.S. Sreedharan Pillai was made the Governor of Mizoram.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:54:21 AM |

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