BJP’s bulldozing Opposition?

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The BJP regime under Narendra Modi stands like an earthmover, clearing all the hurdles on its way. Modi and the team have been bulldozing through the opposition voices and it seems that more such days are in store for them. The ruling saffron camp is in no mood to relent, not now not ever! Yet again on November 14, the Modi-led government issued an ordinance that gives ED and CBI heads longer tenures. Now the heads of respective agencies will get five years at a stretch after superannuation. Interestingly, the ordinance comes at a time when the Parliament is poised to open for a winter of discontent. With this move, the BJP has made it obvious that the Prime Minister wants to control any and every emerging situation. For instance, Maharashtra’s Minority Affairs minister Nawab Malik had to shut up when the ED mounted an offensive on the Pune Waqf Board – a move that directly benefited former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and the BJP.

Meanwhile, the Opposition has raised questions on the government’s actual motive behind the haste in promulgating the ordinance. Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury – a member of the panel that selects the CBI chief – told a newspaper that the ordinance smacked Modi’s dictatorial attitude. For starters, we all know that the Opposition cannot do zilch because it lacks the numbers. But it is frustrating to see that the opposition does not even get the basic understanding that the RSS and the BJP are preparing for a long haul at the union. BJP leader Amit Shah has already asserted that BJP and allies will muster over 300 seats in the coming general elections and this does not come without homework. The coming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh is where all the observers have set their eyes on. Can Rahul Gandhi turn the BJP’s aspirations to come back to power in the state to be turned upside down? To the right-wing, Hindutva’s future does not hinge on the seesaw outcome of electoral dynamics.

Coming back to the government’s ordinance, will there be any doubts on the loyalty of the ED and CBI chiefs to the Modi dispensation? Does anybody think that there can be anybody who will bite the hand that feeds him? The Opposition laments that the Modi government does what it wishes because it has the mandate, the numbers. It is raised in both houses of Parliament, but nothing much can be done in reality. Having said that, the courts are the only refuge now for the people and also the opposition. Although the court system hasn’t weighed in with equal emphasis against the Modi government’s transgressions in the recent past, the opposition wants the top court to intervene and rein in the Modi government. Now a new threat looms large over the opposition. The BJP may be on its way to promulgate an ordinance or bill to push Modi’s tenure beyond 10 years. After all – “Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai.” All in all, the ordinance to extend the tenures of the ED and CBI directors have given the Opposition jitters. Some left-wing analysts say they have got a whiff of coming things. These are testing times for democracy in India. Equally, it is apparent that something odd is happening, but nobody quite knows what.

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