After a week of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, it has become even more evident that the Opposition is in no mood to let the government function. Congress has explicitly stated that it will continue to protest in the House and storm the Well if the resignations of Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan are not offered to them on a silver platter. The BJP, in its own right, remains adamant that their leaders have not committed any illegal or immoral acts and therefore will not be resigning. They have requested the Opposition to stand down and let Parliament function.
However, what is not being discussed is that a washed out Monsoon Session benefits not only the Congress party but also the BJP. There are a number of reasons for this, some, like public perception, are more obvious, others, like the upcoming Bihar elections, are discreet but just as vital.
How does Congress benefit?
Congress does not have the moral authority to continue to seek action against corruption. Yet, this doesn't seem to be stopping them, simply because they have the platform of PM Modi's election promises to stand on.
During the campaign, the PM ensured the Indian public that neither he nor his party would ever be corrupt. However, once things were put in motion, that promise became a lot harder to keep.
Congress will use the various scams to tarnish the public perception of the BJP. However, they could do this any time of the year. Why force Parliament to shut down now?
The answer is simple. Congress does not want the BJP to pass certain bills that will help the economy grow and increase more jobs. Why? Because if they allow this to happen and the economy bounces, back before the start of the 2019 elections, they have no chance of coming back to power.
The government had planned to introduce a number of reform bills this session — including the real estate bill, various labour reform bills, and the small factories bill that seeks to exempt small business from the heavy burden of regulation. Thus, the government was introducing bills that would make starting and running a business in India far easier.
But, it does not suit Congress to allow BJP to introduce reforms so early in its tenure for fear that the benefits will start to show before 2019. This is also why it would not matter if BJP offered up Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan's heads on a platter. The Congress would only increase its demands as this Parliament session and financial year proceed.
Moving on to BJP
The benefits for BJP are better hidden. However, a washed out Monsoon Session does have a number of perks for them as well.
There is the obvious moral win. As long as the Congress continues to press on about corruption charges, the BJP can hit them back each time.
If Congress mentions Swaraj, BJP will hit back with an accusation of Congress's lacklustre attitude towards Lalit Modi's case during their tenure.
If Congress talks about Raje, BJP's right hook will come in the form of Robert Vadra and Lalit Modi's tweets on his alleged meeting with Congress leaders.
Lastly, if Congress attempts to touch the Chouhan subject, BJP will counter them by pointing out the corruption allegations against Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh.
Basically, BJP can get enough punches in the game before getting knocked out, thus seriously injuring the Congress.
The more discreet trick up BJP's sleeve is the Bihar elections. All of these bouts are eventually leading up to this championship.
By letting Congress continue to disrupt Parliament, BJP can argue during the elections that Congress is not interested in the development of the nation and only propagates petty politics.
Also, not many people will know, but BJP has ensured that the Monsoon Session is reduced to three weeks as against its usual four week duration. This means that the opposition will have less time — thus less coverage — to fight the government.
BJP has also made sure not to involve the Land Acquisition Bill during this session. This means that the fight in Parliament will be limited to personal allegations and ideological battles will not be fought. Therefore, Congress cannot go to Bihar and claim the government does not care for the poor by accrediting the Land Acquisition Bill.
If all goes well for BJP and they win the Bihar elections, they can claim they have come back with a clean-chit from the voters and the Opposition's charges have been rejected by the ultimate jury in any democracy: the electorate. It would also mean that the fates of Raje, Chouhan and Swaraj would be sealed, and all would be well again.
This is the irony of Indian politics — it is a win-win situation for the political parties, the only ones losing are the people themselves.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of ScoopWhoop)