He agrees with the much-in-the-news Sudheendra Kulkarni that the BJP-led NDA was MIA* from 143 seats in Eastern and south India.
He agrees that the BJP fell off the radar of Muslims and Christians who, even though they might constitute a smaller percentage of the voting population, tend to vote enthusiastically and in large numbers.
In fact he even agrees that the BJP needs to modify its associations with the “H-word”, blemished, he suggests, by its association with the “hideous” likes of Pramod Muthalik and Praveen Togadia. But this is where Swapan Dasgupta’s agreement with Sudheendra Kulkarni ends.
Unfortunately, Advani didn’t attend to the problems. Instead, he embarked on the suicidal course of trying to transform a parliamentary election into a presidential one. From the summer of 2008 onwards, Advani sought to project himself as a leader who was nominally from the party but stood well above it. Beginning with the functions associated with the publication of his autobiography to the establishment of his war-room, the unveiling of his personal website and his own vision statements, the Advani strategy lay in bypassing a problem-ridden party. Advani even had his separate media strategy, which centred on Kulkarni and his team of wide-eyed interns.
Read the piece here, and don’t be surprised that he ends by suggesting that the real problem with the Advani campaign was its star strategiser: Kulkarni.
*Missing In Action of course. Not to be confused with the singer.