It was the religious agenda of Ram temple that catapulted the BJP from 2 to 76 seats in Parliament in 1989 elections and since then the party never gave it up. Exploiting religious sentiments of the majority community and creating communal atmosphere have been the success ‘mantra’ of the party for election battles. The BJP formed the first government under the leadership of Vajpayee in 1998 only when the first and the only statesman of the party agreed to keep the communal agenda in abeyance. That communal agenda was to pave the way for the construction of Ram temple, to enforce common civil code and to oppose Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
When Sonia Gandhi took charge of the party in 1998, the BJP cried foul over her foreign origin and unfortunately few other parties also joined that meaningless chorus. However people rejected it with contempt and supported the Congress in 2004 election. Shining India slogan miserably faded and the NDA was defeated after one tenure only. Despite public demand and President A P J Abdul Kalam’s invitation to her, Sonia Gandhi refused point-blank to become the Prime Minister and Manmohan Singh helmed the affairs. The Congress added strength in 2009 elections, but the 2014 election was a great conspiracy between the BJP and the corporate tycoons who untied their money bags to support Narendra Modi, who succeeded to take the people for a ride with his high-sounding promises. In these polls also, the BJP took advantage of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots in Uttar Pradesh. In this Hindi heartland, the BJP won 73 out of 80 seats thus gaining an absolute majority. However, the share of the BJP is 31 per cent only.
After the long history of the BJP of creating communal atmosphere for poll gains, it is again facing the 2019 elections. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi who hardly left a single speech without castigating the Congress for alleged misrule is now heading the woefully misgoverned state. People are facing sky-rocketing prices of consumer goods with an added burden of the GST. Youths are running from pillar to post for jobs recalling the promise that two lakh jobs would be provided every year. The industrial sector is facing crisis despite the Make in India and Starts up programmes. Exports are on the decline and the Rupee is setting records in its downward journey. The country got the tag of the most unsafe place for women. The power-hungry BJP left its ally PDP in Kashmir. Under these circumstances the BJP may again create communal atmosphere to polarize the votes.
Gau Rakshaks are strategically on the prowl for Muslims and Dalits who are becoming victims of lynching on this or that pretext. Emboldened by the murderous activities of the Gau Rakshaks a new phenomenon of mob lynching surfaced in different parts of the country. Some Sangh Parivar and BJP leaders are competing with each other to make hateful and inflammatory speeches. The UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said incidents of mob lynching were being given unnecessary importance. Almost all political leaders and even the Supreme Court expressed its anguish and asked the government to make a new law to curb the killing of innocent people but for the Yogi-turned Chief Minister no one should be worried about it. No one should wonder because it is the line of thinking of the BJP. In Uttar Pradesh itself a Union Minister last week garlanded the mob lynching accused. A BJP MP from the same state, Hari Om Pandey said rape and murder cases are on the rise only because of Muslim population. The increase in crime is directly linked to the rise of Muslim population, he said. He demanded the government to control the birth rate of Muslims. Now see the wisdom of a Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal who said that the lynching incidents are rising only because the popularity of the Prime Minister is on the rise. It is a conspiracy to defame the Prime Minister, he said. One will be at his wit’s end over the wise analysis of these BJP leaders. We are witnessing all sorts of communal barbs and comments to create conducive atmosphere for the BJP which is wholly and solely depending on communal polarization ahead of the 2019 polls.