THE skill to sense “electoral merit,” was until now considered to be Congress’s speciality. The recent elections in Maharashtra show that BJP has mastered the art to outsmart not only India’s GOP — but all of the Opposition. The BJP, for the recent elections, had a two-pronged strategy. Fight wherever it is strong. And, wherever it isn’t, import whoever is strong.
There, more than half of BJP’s elected corporators are either from the NCP, Congress or Shiv Sena. In Pune, it was the NCP and Congress that ruled for over a decade. Once a fiefdom of Congress’s Suresh Kalmadi, it later became a strong bastion of the NCP, especially of Ajit Pawar. For over a year, the BJP selectively wooed many lieutenants of Pawar Jr including one of the most maligned, an all-party-experienced toll-contractor. Throwing all talk about probity and transparency to the poll wind, the said contractor was handed over the responsibility to “manage” Maharashtra’s cultural capital.
It has worked to remarkable effect — the party has bagged eight of the 10 municipal corporations where elections were held.
Take the case of Pune, for example.
The result is that BJP recorded a historic win in Pune, thanks to a large number of leaders borrowed from all parties.