PMji, Mind your CMs

  • Atul Sobti
  • India
  • Dec 05, 2014

Modiji, aap bhi kabhi CM thay. Why then is the BJP forgetting the States? Yes, as PM you are doing fine and right, but the CMs need to be minded too (also the Party and some rogue members…but that, another time). So, who will be the States-man for the BJP? Who will centrally mind the States and CMs - for ensuring congruence, exchange of best practices and resolution of sticky issues….apart from of course delivering the daily bread to the citizens. Who will mind the PM’s initiatives in BJP CMs’ territories? And where’s the next Gujarat – assuming of course that Gujarat is still vibrant? Why not appoint Rajnath Singh as the States-man – after all, he is an ex-CM? Let Jaitley mind the Centrists, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with the help of Finance.

The irony today is that the citizens’ aam expectations have been transferred to the BJP, courtesy their great expectations from Modiji. They are now looking for AAP delivery from the BJP! However, central schemes, even those blessed by Modiji, cannot really provide them deliverance; the focus has to shift to local.  Current and future CMs must learn to govern as Modi in Gujarat, or then take a leaf out of AAP (minus the resignation of course). However, the home truth is that the BJP cannot ever deliver like AAP, because it does not think anything like that. In fact even BJP in the rest of India cannot deliver like Modi in Gujarat.

PMji, you surely realise that the focus for the next 3-4 years will now be State-by-State….and it will get increasingly difficult for the BJP. So, Modiji, while you exhort all to ‘Make in India’, do tell the BJP to ‘Do in State’ (at least a little like you  ‘Do in Centre’).

A key State test for the BJP is in Haryana, where CM Khattar, an ex-RSS man and Modiji’s ex-colleague, has been rewarded primarily for his loyalty…he does not have even youth on his side. This safe and soft choice is quite uncharacteristic of the PM. Having RSS men in staff and functional roles is one thing, placing them in key operational roles like a CM is more than risky. The last thing the State needs is continuous back seat driving or a constant crisis management mode. Khattar’s first visit to Gurgaon has been quite a dampener, even for the aam aadmi. Modiji, do not throw away a historic opportunity given to the BJP in this State.

Our focus has been far too long at the Centre – at the PM, Central Ministers, Opposition leaders, Parliament and the Supreme Court. And unfortunately what the media discusses with them is basically daily or weekly operational topics or happenings – of events that have occurred in a few metros. The various central speakers are also happy to talk on anything and everything – and always with authority; and are accompanied by ‘national page 3 folk’ – again willing to talk, in fact lecture, on ‘the world’. A universal lament today is the lack of action, and the poor implementation of existing schemes, rules and laws. We are perhaps speaking to the wrong people. Our focus should be on where the action takes place. Why cannot we allot a fixed time/space for CMs to be spoken to, or interviewed, on a national channel/newspaper? Maybe set up a fixed day in a month/quarter for a CM/State. Let the CMs showcase what they are doing right. Let the public see what they are missing in their State – and in the process perhaps get to know India better (or at least their State). The CMs would be able to learn from each other. 

Citizens will overall feel more involved, and so provide stickier TRPs/Readerships too!


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