‘Polarisation Replaced Vikaas’: Shivam Singh on Resigning From BJP

‘Polarisation Replaced Vikaas’: Shivam Singh on Resigning From BJP

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“The 2014 Lok Sabha election was fought on a plank of development, but 2019 seems to be fought on polarisation. Right now, the party is governed by two strong individuals whom everyone is really scared of. No one really voices their concerns to them,” said Shivam Shankar Singh, who was until recently an active Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker.

Singh joined the party in 2013, when it was riding the high tides of the Narendra Modi wave – “trusting” the then Gujarat chief minister’s development vision for the country. However, in May 2018, the former BJP worker decided that he could no longer be associated with the party.

Singh, who had earlier handled data analytics for the BJP, wrote a blog – ‘Why I Am Resigning From BJP’ – which went viral just hours after it was posted. In the post, he listed the good, the bad and the ugly of the four-year-old Modi-led government at the Centre, and argued that he could no longer support the BJP, “which is pushing the national discourse in a dark corner”.

“This isn’t something I signed up for,” he wrote in his piece.

Also Read : Why I Am Resigning From the BJP

In an interview with The Quint, Singh talked about what he signed up for when he joined the BJP and what made him change his mind.

Why Did He Resign From the BJP?

Singh said one of the predominant reasons for his resignation comes from the party not delivering the promises it made ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He said while party members and karyakartas spoke about the problems the government was facing, “nothing was actually done about it.”

When asked for an example, Singh pointed at the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, a flagship programme that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – in which each MP was required to adopt three villages and develop them into ideal villages.

There were 280 BJP MPs at that point of time, all of whom adopted three villages. We should have at least 600-700 villages at this point of time in India. But where are these villages? No one really knows. Before 2014, we were promised cheaper fuel prices.
Shivam Shankar Singh

Hidden Serial Numbers on Electoral Bonds Another Reason

The former BJP worker, who has worked actively for the party in Tripura and Manipur, also alleged that electoral bonds were a huge issue.

An investigation by The Quint has revealed that the much-hailed electoral bonds, which were meant to usher in an era of taint-free financing for political parties, carry a secret number “visible on the top-right corner of the original document showing fluorescence, when examined under Ultra Violet (UV) Light.”

“But even graver was the secret hidden numbers on the bonds, exposed by The Quint”, said Singh. He reiterated that the presence of the secret number meant that donors could be traced, which defeated the purpose of anonymity of the bonds.

“This also explains how corruption is reduced at the ministerial level – it isn’t per file/order, it is now like the US – at the policy level,” wrote Patna-based Singh.

‘BJP Resorting to Religious Polarisation’

Speaking to The Quint, Singh claimed that the ruling party is resorting to religious polarisation because “there is no message of development anymore.”

So now the only alternative they have is to resort to religious polarisation, where Hindus consolidate and vote for the BJP. There is no message of development anymore. No one is going to vote for BJP for development.
Shivam Shankar Singh

‘Was Not Threatened By Anyone’

Singh claims that when he wrote the blog, it was done to “simplify” his life as people questioned him about his anti-BJP social media posts, thinking he was still working with the party.

“I just wrote a blog so that I could share the link with everyone. I was tired of explaining why I decided to quit the BJP. To my surprise, the blog went viral. But what is even more surprising is that I did not receive any threat from the party supporters,” says the ex-BJP worker.

He said people told him that he raised “genuine” questions through his blog, questions that “everyone in the country wanted to raise.”

‘Stand Up to the Leaders’

Singh made an appeal to the other BJP workers, to raise these questions with the party leaders. He further appealed to the “reasonable people” in the party to stop supporting the alleged agenda of polarisation. He said:

Enough is enough. The agenda of polarisation that is going  to be spread should not be supported by at least the reasonable people in the party. ‘There is no alternative’ cannot be an excuse to support something extreme. If you want an alternative, go out and create it for yourself.

While his long-term goal is to work on policy issues related to Bihar, right now he is planning to educate voters about the importance of their votes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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