After four years of obsequiousness, many BJP MPs have woken up to their irrelevance in the party’s scheme of things, which centre around Modi’s popularity and Amit Shah’s organisational skill.
Members of Parliament (MPs) have a grouse against finance minister Arun Jaitley. He had given them a salary hike in his Budget 2018, and one expected them to be thankful to him when they got their salary for April last month. It was Rs 1.90 lakh, an increase of Rs 80,000.
But curiously, they weren’t.
The government, they said, gave them with one hand and took away with another. The MPs are no longer entitled to 25 per cent travel allowance over and above their flight fares. Many of them book business class tickets at the 11th hour, and 25 per cent of their air fares meant a substantial sum per month.
Besides, MPs get Rs 2,000 as daily allowance for each day of “residence on duty” when Parliament is in session or sitting of a parliamentary committee is held. In case of the session, the period of residence on duty is counted for three days preceding and succeeding the (sine die) adjournment of the House; in case of a committee, it is two days prior and post the meeting. The MPs have now lost dearness allowance (DA) for these extra days.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation by a BJP MP suggested that s/he has now “lost about Rs 1 lakh per month due to the salary hike”.
If an agency were to conduct a survey of the mood of the nation with representatives of the people in the Lok Sabha as its respondents, the NDA government might be in for a surprise. And if the respondents comprised only the NDA MPs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah might just have to be ready for some unsettling news.
The central leadership of the BJP has been going overboard to mollify its allies with Shah flying to Mumbai and Chandigarh and his party colleagues organising a dinner in Patna last week. But they seem to be unmindful of the disillusionment setting in among their own party MPs, MLAs and leaders. Not that they are unaware of it.
There have been far too many manifestations of rumblings that are quite uncharacteristic of a cadre-based party. BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule has been holding ‘samvidhan bachao’ (Save the Constitution) rallies and castigating her own party-led governments in New Delhi and Lucknow. Another BJP MP, Udit Raj, has indirectly blamed the party, attributing the growing number of agitations by Dalits to “lack of communication”.
At the height of Dalit protests at Una in Gujarat two years ago, Udit Raj was not allowed to visit the area. BJP MP from Bhandara Gondiya, Nana Patole, quit the party, criticising Modi’s style of functioning; the BJP lost the seat in the bypolls recently. At least two BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh have attacked chief minister Yogi Adityanath. And one hasn’t even started counting the Shatrughan Sinhas and Kirti Azads on the treasury benches!
The frustration over the post-salary hike income dip is only a pinprick. Pain points of the BJP MPs are far too many. The biggest of them is the realisation of being powerless, manipulable, dispensable pawns, whose fate depends on how Modi and Shah see their utility in the 2019 electoral chessboard.
Meetings or monologues
There was a time, says a BJP MP, when parliamentary party meetings used to be a good forum for discussion. Modi and senior party leaders would welcome MPs raising hands to ask questions and bare their hearts. These meetings are marked by monologues now. The BJP parliamentarians claim that party workers are now tired of carrying out the diktats from the top and hearing it say “yeh karo, woh karo”.
In every other parliamentary party meeting in the past four years, the MPs are given goals. They had to hold meetings in their constituencies to convince people of the benefits of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). When the Congress disrupted proceedings in Parliament, they had to observe fast in their constituencies. The Prime Minister asked them to spend a night in bastis at least once a month. He wanted them to have three lakh Facebook followers each to prove their credentials as MPs. They had to organise special programmes in their constituencies to mark anniversaries of Ambedkar and Jyotirao Phule, among others. Then, there were celebrations for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ujjwala scheme, among others. For the MPs, the elections never really got over.
Most of them may have owed their debut or return to the Lok Sabha to Modi and they still look up to him for a re-win. But after four years of obsequiousness, many MPs have suddenly woken up to their irrelevance in the party’s larger scheme of things, which centre around Modi’s personal popularity and Shah’s organisational skill. A veritable threat from an anti-BJP federal front coupled with apprehensions about replication of Modi’s Gujarat model of winning elections – by denying tickets to a large number of legislators to beat anti-incumbency –is now causing jitters among the BJP MPs, the faces who would be Modi’s ambassadors in 2019. They are not confident any more.
This is the beginning of the end for BJP.
Firstly the author of this should wake up from his sleep. What a silly article is this. From the last 4 years he could not see a single positive work from Modi government. All these MP’S won because Modi wave.People voted for Modiji again in 2019 whoever be the BJP candidate they will because people know the power of Modi. 282 Loksabha seats forming government in Haryana, Maharashtra, UP, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh,Assam ,Tripura, Jharkhand etc etc.All these because of Modiji policies. The above mentioned MPs in the article will be pleading for seats in the next Loksabha election.
BJP MPs should listen to their conscience and resign en masse like Mr. Nana Patole. That would cause this government to fall immediately which is in the larger interest of this country.
BJP is guaranteed to lose the 2019 elections under Modi-Shah because the Opposition will not let them win this time. Also, large sections of the population are angry because of lack of employment, economic growth, and business opportunities.
Really amused to see how positive things are given a negative spin. To me all those goals set to MPs are positive change. But how it is mentioned as something dictated by NaMo-Shah gives it a negative spin altogether . I feel this could have been reported in a better way.
Some months ago, the BJP returned to power in the three municipal corporations in Delhi, although the working of these bodies was barely satisfactory. It replaced every single corporator, a smart way of dealing with anti incumbency. Difficult to see Dream Girl getting the ticket once again from Mathura, or winning, if she did.
BECHARE BJP MPs! What’s in their hands? Their hands are tied anyway!! Look at Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh who just have to keep mum. Modi and Amit Shah have full control of their cadres. Or fringe elements? So no doubt, the BJP MPs have become “BECHARA”.
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