Ayodhya milestone behind, BJP needs to find a new agenda for future
Building a temple in Ayodhya has been one of the core issues for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has made the party what it is today. While this judgment will please BJP supporters for some time, the party faces the challenge of figuring out a new agenda, going forward. Some of the long pending issues on its agenda are what helped the party to consolidate its supporters. With these milestones now behind the party, it needs to think ‘what next’.
The BJP came to power in 2014 on the promise of development. We do not know how it may perform in the next few years until the 2024 Parliamentary election. I think the party needs to identify and embrace a big and new issue that connects with people, which will give them hope to stay with the party. We have already seen BJP’s pro-poor approach compared to its previous term in office starting 1999. That approach is clearly visible.
The party’s new agenda need not be connected to faith or religion. It has to be one that gives the message that the party really cares for its constituency. It could also be about development. It is hard to predict how things will unfold in 2024 and how people would want to vote.
There could be some show of euphoria by some people on account of the direction of the Supreme Court judgment on Saturday, who may try to see the passion aroused. The demand from people on the government to create more jobs will get further diluted for some time, at least.
The government has nothing to do with the apex court judgment, but it does get a short lease of life from the pressures which had started building up on matters of the economy. It is the judgment by the highest court in the country. It should not in any way upset the relations between followers of different religions.
(As told to Gireesh Chandra Prasad)
*Sanjay Kumar (Member Secretary), Political Scientist, Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi