Questions to answer within organisation
- Trouble mounts for Sreesanth as Mumbai cops gather more evidence
- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
After 2012 brought it a mixed bag, the BJP faces a year that will be crucial not only in terms of competitive politics but also organisationally.
The 2012 electoral outcomes did not really match up to the pressure the BJP had plied on the UPA government on issues ranging from 2G spectrum allocation, to alleged irregularities in coal block allocations, to opposition to FDI in retail. They brought another defeat in Uttar Pradesh and losses to the Congress in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The party lost B S Yeddyurappa, its tallest mass leader in Karnataka, a state that has more BJP MPs than Narendra Modi's Gujarat.
Modi's third consecutive victory and Manohar Parrikar's victory in Goa were the BJP's two bright spots, yet they sent conflicting signals. Modi showed the BJP can do without Muslim candidates in Gujarat, but in Goa it has more Muslim MLAs than the Congress has.
Organisationally, the year is set to begin with the election of a party president whose term will cover the Lok Sabha elections. Even if Nitin Gadkari gets an extended term, the party may feel the need to revamp his team of general secretaries who have had little to show by way of achievement.
One challenge will be bringing clarity over who comes first among the "equals" within the leadership. The principle of "collective leadership", a facade to hide the ambiguity within, may work in Delhi's power politics, but in the states, cadres down the rung, who bring BJP voters to the polling booth, will be looking for clarity ahead of 2014.
Electorally, the crucial states are Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, which between them account for 100 Lok Sabha seats. It is in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Delhi where settling organisational issues will hold the key, not only to the BJP's performance in these states but also to setting the mood for the national elections.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet