New Delhi: Attacking Congress for having “divorced” ideology, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday deprecated caste and family politics and named ally Ram Vilas Paswan among those leaders whose parties are identified with a family.
Speaking at a meet of writers, Shah said politics of ideology was the only alternative to the politics of caste, self-interest and family, and claimed that BJP government at the Centre and in states could execute their developmental agenda as they were not about individuals but party and ideology. After the death of socialist stalwart Ram Manohar Lohia, his movement withered away.
Talking about various social blocks, he said, “Due to political interest, some of them saw socialism in Congress and some in Charan Singh. In the end, all ideological affiliates of the socialist bloc slowly turned into casteist parties. If you go into the root of all Bihar and UP-based caste parties, you will find that they had socialist background. “In 10-15 years, they were not even limited to a caste but, if you do an objective analysis, became a symbol of family. Whether it is the party of Mulayam Singh Yadav or of Nitish Kumar or of Ram Vilas Paswan or of Lalu Prasad Yadav, they all became family outfits. Neither socialism nor casteism remained, but only family.”
Taking a dig at Congress over dynasty politics, he said everybody knows who will be its next president but nobody can say who will succeed him in BJP.
Congress, he said, attracted people of different ideologies during the independence struggle as it was seen as the “special purpose vehicle” to fight for the the country’s freedom but began weakening gradually afterwards as it “lacked” an ideology to bind it together. The Jawahar Lal Nehru-led Congress believed in creating a new India as it thought its old values would not work but the Jana Sangh, the forerunner of BJP, believed in reconstructing India, drawing upon its ancient value system.
Shah said he had read a book on all the resolutions of the Congress but did not find any coherent ideology. The book, he said, was brought out after the party completed 100 years. The multi-party democracy that India adopted has political parties and their ideologies and programmes at its centre and not personalities, which are important in the presidential form of democracy but not the one practised in India, he said.
Mapping out the BJP’s journey from “a party of 10 people to 10 crore workers”, he said the growth of an ideology-based party is slow.