If the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are a game of chess, then breaking away from the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir was Amit Shah’s opening move. The strategy was finalised on the eve of June 19 at a meeting between the BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS. Nestled amid the hot and dusty Aravalli hills, leaders engaged in a three-day-long marathon meeting at a resort in Surajkund, Haryana.
The agenda was clear—to prepare a game plan to keep the BJP in power in 2019. The “worsening situation” in Kashmir came up time and again as something that was affecting the carefully-crafted image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ and a tough nationalist leader. RSS leaders who had come from the state gave the feedback that the Centre’s peace overtures—such as the ceasefire during Ramzan—were only giving militants time to recoup, regroup and rearm. Radicalisation and the voices of those demanding ‘azadi’ were only growing bolder. The message from the ground was loud and clear—“Pull out from the government and cut your losses before it’s too late.”
Outlook spoke to several BJP leaders and RSS functionaries to find out how they plan to ensure ‘Phir ek baar, Modi sarkaar.’ The crux of the strategy appears to be going back to the Sangh’s core values of Hindutva and nationalism. And the BJP and the RSS are working hand in hand, the latter’s refrain that “we are merely a social organisation” notwithstanding.
The plan to polarise was evident from Amit Shah’s aggressive speech in Jammu on June 23. There to attend the...