Fact Check

When Opposition Decides to Go the Colonial Way

Divide and Rule

Divide and Rule is a tactic of being in power, which is often attributed to the British rule in India. The British rule created schisms between the two dominant religious groups of India, i.e., Hindus and Muslims and benefitted from the conflicts between the two. Now the Indian National Congress Party along with other Opposition parties – after a slew of losses in the State elections in the past 5 years – has decided to take a leaf out of the wily and oppressive British rule and resort to Divide and Rule in the polity of independent India.

A classic case in point is the way the grand old party along with its sympathizers has been trying to create a divide within the ruling party by spreading “cropped statements’’ of Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in multiple instances.

Some such instances are as follows:

Instance 1:

What they quoted?

“Leadership should have the tendency to own up to defeats and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organisation will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for the defeat,” he had said.

What Gadkari said?

It is obvious in the banking sector that banks achieve success and sometimes they face failure. Banks have to face both the situations. In our political field, when there is a failure, a committee is formed; but in case of success, nobody comes and asks you why you won. Because victory has many fathers, but defeat is an orphan. When there is success, there will be a race to claim credit. But in case of failure, everybody will start pointing fingers at each other. Leadership should have the tendency to own up defeats and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organisation will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for the defeat”.

Instance 2:

What they quoted?

“One Who Can’t Take Care of Home Can’t Manage Country…”

What Gadkari said?

‘I meet many people who say we want to devote our lives for the BJP, for the country. I asked (one such person) what do you do, and who all are there in your family. He said I have closed my shop as it was not doing well..there is wife at home, children. I said (to him) first take care of your home, because one who cannot manage his home cannot manage the country. Hence first manage your home and look after your children properly, then work for the party and country,’”

Instance 3:

What they quoted?

“Indira Gandhi proved her mettle in her party among other dedicated male leaders. Was it due to reservation?…”

What Gadkari said?

Indira Gandhi proved her mettle in her party among other dedicated male leaders. Was it due to reservation. Women BJP leaders Union minister Sushma Swaraj, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did well in politics without reservations.”

The Oppositions efforts don’t just stop at spreading falsehoods and distorted statements of Shri Gadkari. In a tweet that reeks of divisive tendencies, Rahul Gandhi, said “Gadkari Ji…You are the only one in BJP with some guts,” attempting to compare the Minister with the rest of the ruling party leaders and create an optical divide.

While Mr. Gadkari did take to the micro blogging site and said he did not need certificates from Rahul Gandhi, it is the sinister campaign of the Congress Party to create differences among BJP leaders that has come to the forefront.

Senior leader, Shri Sharad Pawar, chief of Nationalist Congress Party, also tried to take a swipe at the ruling party by saying he was worried for Mr. Gadkari. He said, “(Nitin) Gadkari  is my friend. We have worked together. There is talk about his name being pushed (as an alternative to Modi) and because of that I am worried about him”. This is yet another attempt to whip fractured sentiments among the BJP ranks.

Therefore, the Opposition parties in India have repeatedly staged a united front in their relentless bid to unseat Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apart from alleging charges of corruption, one of the techniques adopted by the Opposition has been to create cleavages within the ruling party by projecting alternatives to the Prime Minister from within the BJP itself, and hope that this loss of unity would work to the former’s advantage.

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