BJP dreams of making India 'Congress-Mukta Bharat'

The 'Congress-yukta' strategy: BJP dreams of making India 'Congress-Mukta Bharat'

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The BJP, whose several leaders had given “Congress-Mukta Bharat” call, has increasingly fallen back on commanders of Congress in various states to expand and achieve power, albeit only inducting them in their party's fold.

As the BJP goes for the kill, seeking to form a state government in Madhya Pradesh, it is banking heavily on the ‘Maharaja’ of Gwalior royal family Jyotiraditya Scindia, who broke the 19-year-long association with Congress to join the BJP last week.

Scindia’s induction gave rise to buzz on social media of the BJP becoming ‘Congress Yukta’.

Scindia’s arrival will strengthen the BJP in 34 assembly seats of Gwalior-Chambal region, where the Congress won 27 seats in 2018 assembly polls.

Scindia has joined the BJP at a time when three-term Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister from the party Shivraj Singh Chouhan, once considered a contender for PM's post, has now been made national vice-president of BJP and the state leadership lacks a pan-state popular face.

Follow DH's live coverage of the Madhya Pradesh govt crisis here

In Gujarat, where the Congress made a big improvement in its tally, four of its MLAs resigned on Sunday ahead of Rajya Sabha polls. A much-projected OBC face of Congress, MLA Alpesh Thakor had joined the BJP last year. Thakor was one of the triumvirates—two others being Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani, who had helped Congress notch up its numbers.

These are not isolated incidents. Ever since coming to power in 2014, the BJP made good use of Congress talent. When the ambition of the number 2 in Congress government of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma to grow could not be met by the Congress, the BJP saw an opportunity and pocketed him in 2015. Next year, the BJP formed the government in Assam, its first government in the North East.

Sarma later helped the BJP come to power in Tripura and in many other northeastern states. Once again Rajya Sabha election is on the corner, and he is instrumental in making many Congress MLAs resign to help the BJP.

A cabinet minister in the earlier Manipur Congress government, N Biren Singh helped the BJP form a government in that state in 2017. He is now the chief minister of the state.

After 2014 Lok Sabha results in which Congress could win only one of 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, the BJP inducted AICC general secretary Chaudhary Birender Singh, who was sulking over not getting prominence in Congress, and made him a cabinet minister. Later the BJP fielded him to quell the anger from the Jats in Haryana, Western UP and many adjoining regions.

In Uttarkhand when the tussle between former Congress chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and Harish Rawat intensified and Bahuguna had to resign as CM, the BJP inducted Bahuguna, a known Brahmin face in the party, in 2016. A year later, the BJP formed a government in the hill state.

In the upcoming West Bengal Assembly poll next year, the BJP is heavily banking on the strategy of former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy to sail through. Once the pointsman of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Roy later brought a large number of TMC leaders and foot-soldiers into the BJP. The BJP saw a nine-fold jump in the number of Lok Sabha seats—from just two in 2014 to 18 in 2019. The BJP is now making a serious bid to power in 2021 assembly polls of the state.

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