New Delhi: There is a sense that the Congress leadership will go for early elections using the food security ordinance and the Ishrat Jehan case as props. Would they ensure victory? No. The Bharatiya Janata Party which will win the general elections whether they are held later this year or on schedule in 2014 should follow the campaign strategies suggested by Narendra Modi who knows the pulse of the country such as no other in the BJP. The party cannot go for a half-hearted campaign on the lines suggested by Lal Krishna Advani which hews to the sort of conventional wisdom peddled on dubious op-ed pages. Elections have to be fought and won like wars without the bloodshed and killing and there is no second chance. “You could not,” as the great Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “step twice into the same river.” The Bharatiya Janata Party cannot absorb the shock of a third straight election defeat and only Narendra Modi can power the party to a victory on its own. And he will accomplish this with his characteristic single-mindedness, political brilliance, organization skills, diligence, and dogged determination, provided Advani & Co. do not prove obstructive.

Modi has said that the Ishrat Jehan case must be fought politically and he is correct. Ishrat Jehan was a Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist according to the Intelligence Bureau and a suicide bomber in the words of the 26/11 Pakistani-American terrorist facilitator, David Coleman Headley. America will not extradite him to India and at bottom the United Progressive Alliance government would not press for his custody since he will become an embarrassment with his disclosures about Pakistan’s deep terroristic penetrations in this country. The Congress leadership is playing a dangerous game of aligning with Pakistani terror elements for narrow political ends and it has absolutely compromised the operations, present and future, of the Intelligence Bureau by going against it on the Ishrat Jehan case. According to a daily, the director of the Intelligence Bureau, Asif Ibrahim, a capable officer (and incidentally known to this writer), has given a written objection to the Union home ministry against the Central Bureau of Investigation’s witch-hunt of his officers in the Ishrat Jehan case and, sooner than later, this will blow up in the face of the Congress leadership.

But whilst all these facts are important in addition to the brazen and blatant misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Manmohan Singh government, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign has to go far beyond that. Narendra Modi has succeeded as a politician (his administrative excellence is another matter) in Gujarat because he has gone over the heads of his opponents to speak directly to the people. It is this that kept him going through the darkest phase of the post-Godhra calumnies and produced three massive assembly election victories in a row even as he moved at high risk away from emotional to developmental issues. It is this extraordinary capacity to sway and convince voters that terrifies the Congress leadership and his detractors in the Janata Dal-United, etc, which is what the Bharatiya Janata Party should capitalize on. When he says to fight the Ishrat Jehan case allegations politically, he means that the facts and the arguments and the circumstances of it must be placed directly in the court of the people, and Modi has the conviction of his own blamelessness and that of his administration to be certain that the Bharatiya Janata Party will emerge triumphant. It is to be noted and underlined that the Congress and UPA leadership are polarizing the coming election using the Ishrat Jehan case and exposing their dirty game and routing them electorally permits of employing every means and strategy short of minority-bashing.

Narendra Modi is also right in suggesting an overarching nationally-focussed general election campaign than a state specific one that, according to media reports, Advani is keen on. It is true that state and regional identities have grown stronger year after year and this has contributed to the seeming indomitability of coalition politics at the Centre with all its concomitant fallouts. But Narendra Modi in the manner that he has evolved and the mass support that he enjoys appears to counter this trend and, therefore, his strategy of a nationally-targeted general election campaign makes eminent sense. A general election cannot be fought like an assembly election and through its venality, sky-high corruption, abuse of institutions such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, destruction of the national economy, and the steady pauperizing of the salaried middle class and the poor, the United Progressive Alliance has given enough ammunition to the BJP. Narendra Modi knows how to make optimum use of this materiel and Advani and the other naysayers must not impede his way. Once Modi powers ahead, the Congress leadership will go into defensive mode, and the tide will turn.

In two terms, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have laid low the country. The worst of their governance has been exposed at the Centre and in Uttarakhand. If you believe the stock-market players, the rupee will trade 120 to the dollar before they are done. There is simply no redemption for the Congress party so long the dynasts are in control and the country will go into terminal decline if they hold the reins of power longer. In the event, Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party are the only hope for India.