After 2009, when the UPA was re-elected to power, the BJP, too had quite a lot to ponder over. As a result of the excessive brainstorming, in the next team for the Lok Sabha, we saw an all-new opposition representing the BJP in the parliament, including a new Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha) in Sushma Swaraj.
Over the years, this team of the BJP has developed into the strongest and most rigid Opposition. From LK Advani to Yashwant Sinha, the Houses of Parliament have been occupied by the most experienced of the BJP High Command. These leaders were amongst the earliest leaders of BJP who helped it rise from a little-known young entity to the second largest political party of the country.
But since the commencement of the rule of UPA-II, the BJP has received admiration and flak in equal proportions due to its absolutely ruthless opposition to almost anything and everything presented by the Government. From the Women’s Reservation Bill to the Food Bill, the BJP has been opposing each and every attempt at reform introduced by the Congress tooth and nail, giving childish, at times senseless reasons.
During the debate that happened in the Lok Sabha regarding the introduction of FDI in retail, the opposition showcased by the BJP was as rigid as can be. From growing two-feet potatoes to criticizing popular international food chains, the BJP left absolutely no stone upturned in its repeated attempts to have the bill dropped. Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of The Opposition in the Lok Sabha even went so far as to say that FDI would bring British Raj back to India! The FDI is seen the world over as the best tool for globalization of a nation’s economy and for qualitative and quantitative improvement in the country’s own resources. The 1991 reforms to the Indian economy paid special attention to Globalization, the rich fruits of which we have been reaping. BJP fought against 49% FDI, but in fact during their tenure they have advocated 100% FDI in retail!
The Food Bill too saw some such uneducated criticism from the Opposition. The Opposition was firm in its insistence that the Government would not be able to ‘afford’ the National Food Security Bill, and that it would only drag the already depreciating economy further down the drain. BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi described the Bill as a measure for ‘vote security’. The Food Bill was passed in September 2013. Now, about 2 months down the drain, it has had no adverse effect or negative sentiments in the markets. The prices of food have grown marginally, and the Rupee has grown by Rs 9 to the Dollar. Sensex and Nifty have touched record highs and there is a really positive sentiment in the market, an occurrence which is completely contrasting and opposite to the allegations made by the BJP.
Arguing for the sake of arguing
The BJP, in the past 10 years, has surely shown its rigidity, but more so how under educated it really is. An opposition is certainly supposed to raise topics it feels are against the nation’s interest, and contradict the topics raised, but only relevant. Opposing a law only for the sake of it is pure foolishness and partisanism. And even if topics are raised and arguments made, they shouldn’t seem un-researched. What could have been meant by the ‘British Raj Coming back to India’ remark?In the past few years, the BJP has repeatedly disrupted parliament and threatened to do so, which is pure sabotage of democracy. This is not what an Opposition party is supposed to do.
Of late, we have seen Narendra Modi literally ‘change history’. From Alexander being defeated by Biharis on the banks of the Ganga (he was defeated in Punjab) to Taxila being in Bihar (it is located in Afganistan!) and Nehru not attending Sardar Patel’s funeral to him stealing Patel’s car after it (both claims false), Modi has shown to what extend facts can be molded, perceiving the India public as gullible.
BJP, has shown what it is worth, and how it can turn back on its own decisions. It can be called both the best and the worst opposition in different contexts- it only depends on how you see it.
By Vishesh Kashyap
Image Source: Ananth Kumar-Facebook