BJP and the dynamics of Amit Shah’s leadership

While there is no dearth of those who do not like successful people, in case of Amit Shah the list is really long. His meteoric rise to national level has broken agendas and hearts all across the country. The list is particularly painful for office bearers of BJP, whose life time of saluting the saffron flags in sang shakhas don’t mean a thing before the whims of their party president.

The changed power structure

The BJP of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a party of debates and dissents. Both sides of arguments were allowed and encouraged. Nationalism was a long term way of life, not a myopic vision of an authoritarian ball game. The Shah-Modi combine has drastically changed that. In terms of power structure now BJP is much closer to supremo culture than ever before. And this comes with the obvious problems of kow-tow.

For the Union Ministers now it is a sacred duty to retweet everything PM or Amit Shah says or tweets. Every one of their personal staff is suspected to be spying for Shah, and any disrespect shown to the PM or the Party President may mean end of political career.

In a new normal, it’s now common for ministers to present their case before Modi-Shah combine followed by a closed door meeting of only the duo.

No debates means no Backup plans

When GST created more problems than it solved, BJP has had no back up plan. No one was prepared for a failure. Sure there are talks of a few scalps may be rolled, but that will not undo the damage. Had the decision making included debate on GST implementation,  the roll out may have been in phases or at the very least, backup plans to handle the PR crisis would have had been in place. By not preparing for failure BJP planned for one.
Centralization of power drags BJP identity

BJP is Modi and Modi is BJP. Much like Indira’s congress the unhinged personalization of organization comes with personal ego becoming part of party’s narrative.

So when Shah’s son gets blamed for a scam, his response is to get aggressive in Amethi. This was most unnecessary. Winning Amethi from Gandhi family’s feet is bigger political statement than merely challenging the family in its own bastion. Shah is known to be a strategist still he is blowing trumpets and happily giving away element of surprise.

Creating too many enemies

Shah has simply made too many enemies. Quite a few state units hate him. Almost all of BJP CMs post 2014 have been his personal choice – mostly without the ground support. This does not augment well for the sitting CMs/ State unit heads who will seek reelections/elevation to CM candidature sortly. From Amit Shah-the mutiny is just a failure away.

Easy Target for Opposition

While Modi has remained beyond reach of opposition, Shah has presented himself to be a particularly easy prey. Given the fact that targeting Shah can also get tacit support form BJP office bearers opposition will target him. In recent past Shah’s responses reek of a street bully and it might just benefit Raul Gandhi to attack him smoothly with full display of his pedigree.
Amit Shah needs to understand that to rule India he has to match her diversity and her federalism. There are many things that Modi-Shah still need to learn from the rule of Indira Gandhi

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