Seeing Mr. Parrikar become chief minister of Goa was one of the happiest moment of my life.
This victory for BJP in Goa has many lessons. These lessons are more important for BJP central leadership than anyone else. Well, almost everyone seems to be advising BJP what they need to do and that wont really refrain me from adding my two cents here. Many things happened right for BJP in Goa.
1. An incredibly credible face as a leader.
Manohar Parrikar has shown the proverbial middle finger to all those who say that without money/muscle power you can not win. On the contrary he has shown that at least for BJP honesty is THE BEST policy.
2. Good understanding of local issues
Manohar Parrikar showed an impeccable understanding of local issues. The entire manifesto was full of promises for almost everyone and each promise was made such that it wouldn’t threaten any other group. Instead of pointing fingers to congress’ shortcomings every now and then, Mr. Parrikar focused on how he can do things differently.
3. Participation of Minorities
This time BJP included a large number of christian candidates which helped it garner significant vote share from minorities. However the party dint seem to have any religious agenda pro-minority or pro-majority in any way.
4. Almost no interference from central leadership
It appeared that Mr. Parrikar got good support from central leadership and they apparently gave him a lot of freedom. It was evident when a stalwart like Mr. Naik was denied a ticket till the end.
Day by day, central issues are becoming non-issues for people. They seem to be more concerned with issues of governance and development which are state subjects. Almost in every state except Punjab in recent elections the ruling parties have suffered a lot.
If BJP is serious about 2012 elections it needs to find not a just one credible face to lead them but many credible faces at all levels of hierarchy with sound understanding of their state issues. These people should have good understanding of local issues and finally BJP needs to come up with an ideology that has a got a pan-india appeal and which will help it garner minority votes.
If BJP wants to go ahead with people like Advani, Jaitley and Sushama Swaraj this election is probably is as good as lost for BJP.