Has the national party got its election strategy wrong by projecting Narendra Modi as its 2014 elections face. Sheshadri Chari, national executive member of BJP, joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on whether the BJP is doing enough to reach out to Muslim voters.
Q. Why BJP so much worry about Muslims only because Muslims has gotten highest benefit in Gujrat, MP Karantaka BJP ruled time, Bihar as compare to congress an other party ruled states in job, loan and skill power training, education benefit? Asked by: sujan kar
A. BJP is not worried but concerned about the welfare of Muslims because they are as much citizens of this country as any one else is. The Congress and other parties are using them as vote banks.
Q. Dear Mr Chari, One gets a feeling that BJP is "peaking" too early in the campaign for 2014 elections. The public memory as is often said is short, and couple of big ticket, last moment spurt from the UPA may make people forget all its evils, and turn to them. Even in the CNN-IBN survey that is being played out, the undecided percentage is quite high. It is key that the BJP calls the shots from 2014, for our own benefit, but the point that I have raised is a concern. Your thoughts, sir. Asked by: Narayan
A. Yes there is this caution from some people. But I feel it is better than being late like the Congress. At least we are setting the agenda.
Q. Sir, I feel the BJP has always been a party for the upper castes. As a BJP supporter myself I wish the BJP would expand its traditional upper caste base and try to reach out to the Backward castes as well. More than the Muslim votes I feel that this should be the top priority for the BJP. If you can do that at least in UP and Bihar I think 2014-2019 is all for the BJP. Your thoughts Sir. Asked by: Deepak
A. No BJP is not for any one class or community, six years of NDA has proved this.
Q. Why BJP only think minority as Muslims only which has gotten maximum benefit but other minority like Christian, jains, Punjab's, parsis, Buddhists did not get any benefit or not ask also such way from Indian govt for last 60 years ruled. why BJP did not give same benefit or more benefit to other minority community? Asked by: sujan kar
A. The whole idea of classifying people as religious group is bad governance but may be good politics for the Congress. It is sad that we still think in terms of religion when it comes to national interest.
Q. BJP has so far done nothing to erase an impression that it is a party for Hinduvta only. Why? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. I don't think the BJP is seen as Hindutwa party though there are numerous attempts to paint it so. BJP is for all citizens.
Q. I know Narendra Modi is the best choice BJP has but I feel that BJP is not doing enough to reach the minorities as such i would like to know what are the plans about reaching out to minorities for 2014? Asked by: Sachin Sabnis
A. BJP does not see voters on the basis of their religion. Mr. Modi worked for all those in Gujarat and was elected for that. I think this is the best policy.
Q. The Noble, Amartya Sen's remark will be discussed at the educated and middle income group urbanites. Will this create an adverse impact for BJP or for NaMo? Do Note that he has singled out the person and not the Party. Asked by: sundar1950in
A. It is sad that Mr. Sen speaks more like a disgruntled politician than as an economist. He has not been true to his profession.
Q. In spite of an apparent sound counseling from the INC VP, Digvijay Singh has affirmed the provocative statements of the Congress GS as right. Will the BJP take this to the CEC and President and ask them to prevent a flare up. Why is BJP using media only to rebut and should it not stop playing into the game of Polarisation being attempted at by INC? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. No need to involve CEC. Congress VP's writ does not run even in his party it seems. The more people like Mr. Digvijay Singh talk the more it benefits the BJP
Q. Congress is getting to Divisive mode linking BJP to IM and Terror. Was it not much before that Bhindranwale was nurtured by them and they faced the worst of terror. Why are they being allowed to go unchallenged quoting NIA reports? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Good point, but I think some of BJP spokepersons raised this point. Congress statement and policies were responsible for the trouble in Punjab, and the country paid a heavy price for Congress' errors.
Q. Andhra, Kerala, Tamilnadu BJP is a non-starter as far as representation in LS is concerned. The Dravidian, Telugu Desam and Communists are main opponents to Congress. Will BJP align with these parties to get secular tag and gain foothold in LS. Asked by: sundar1950in
A. These parties get elected in South not only due to their "secular" tag but they also have local leadership. The BJP will also have to develop local leadership and ground level workers.
Q. When Swamy mentioned dividing the Muslims it was basically an indirect way of bringing out the fact what the pseudo secularists have been doing dividing the Hindus to gain Muslim votes. Don't you think this interpretation is correct? Asked by: Arun
A. Congress has been using fear factor among the Muslims (you are in danger from Hindus etc), but Hindus have never voted as "Hindus". But the BJP never believed in vote bank politics.
Q. Minorities appeasement is wrong . So is Minorities being ignored. What areas has BJP worked on comforting minorities? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. When we say appeasement is wrong it does not mean we should ignore any one section. The BJP ruled states have done much better for economically weaker section including the minorities.
Q. BJP's NaMo said " I am a Hindu Nationalist". "It is fine. Who from the BJP could have supported NaMo from the BJP saying." I am a Muslim Nationalist" Why they did not come out? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Mr Modi said I am a Hindu and also a nationalist, if I am not very wrong.
Q. The only alternative for Indians including Muslims and backward castes is Narendra Modi who talks development rather than what the Congress and other parties which hide behind the garb of secularism. Don't you think the Muslims are understanding this fraud committed by the Congress since independence where they continue to be in a bad shape. Asked by: AKS
A. More number of Muslims do not want to be tagged as "minorities", especially the youth and the educated. There is greater awareness among them. I think this election will see a different trend.
Q. Wouldn't it have been a better strategy to work in each state (rather than zone-wise), for increasing BJP's vote share, thereby BJPs representation in Lok Sabha? Overall, each zone should have been assigned to 4 or more top leaders, to share collective responsibility of each of the state in the zone. Also these leaders shouldn't have been burdened with additional responsibilities. Youth leaders should have been identified in each of the state for campaign as well as communicating BJPs policies and ideas. These youth leaders should have been reporting to the zonal leaders or Youth leaders identified by the top leaders of BJP. Similarly, this should have been incorporated for women. Local youth and women leaders would have been able to identify with the local problems. Your thoughts. Asked by: EM
A. Good suggestion. But I think the present arrangement will translate into what you are suggesting when it starts working.
Q. Why is the BJP still sticking with communal-ism? This seems like a strategy on the part of the Congress and other parties to show BJP as a communal party. Wouldn't it be better if the party sticks to issue of governance and corruption? Asked by: EM
A. Yes, we are sticking to the development and corruption-free governance agenda. But our detractors would like to draw us into a different debate zone, which we should avoid.
Q. Yes they are doing what is supposed to be done without appeasing the Muslims as done by the pseudo secularists. why cant our politicians start speaking as all of us being Indians and not by religion and caste. which democracy fights elections on religion or caste issues? Asked by: AKS
A. Democracies do have what is called "pressure groups". But yes it would be ideal to approach elections on development and other national issues.