The party is studying the governance of different countries to present an alternative model of development for India ahead of the 2014 general election, says Akshat Kaushal
Viewing the 2014 general elections as a battle of ideas, the Bharatiya Janata Party is studying the governance models of countries, ranging from Colombia to Georgia and from Malaysia to Singapore, to come up with alternative models of development in its vision document.
With corruption being a major poll issue, the party is analysing the reforms initiated by Georgia to curb corruption. The Caucasian country had successfully introduced transparency in its system in 2003, after the ‘Rose Revolution’ toppled the country’s President Eduard Shevardnadze, a former communist leader.
TransMilenio, an integrated bus rapid transit system in Colombia’s capital Bogota, is being studied for solving the problems in urban public transport.
Over the last week, senior party leaders had also met officials in the Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia to understand the working of Performance Management and Delivery Unit.
PEMANDU, set up in 2009, monitors the economic transformation programme that aims to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.
Besides, party leaders said, they would also be looking at successful initiatives taken by state governments in India, including those ruled by parties other than the BJP. As an example, a BJP leader referred to the success of urban local governments in Tripura as a successful model which can be initiated.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, a member of the national executive council of the BJP who is also a member of the vision document team, said the party had taken a decision to move away from right-based politics and was more interested in throwing up models that had more public participation.
He, however, added that this didn’t mean the BJP would wind up welfare schemes launched by the present central government. Instead, it would propose reforms in their implementation, such as wider participation of urban local governments.
“For the BJP, in this election, the need to be seen as a force with a real difference is greater than any time in the past,” Sahasrabuddhe said.
In the process, the BJP is seeking the help of former bureaucrats, senior police officers and army generals and opinion-makers.
A senior leader of the party said they had sought the opinion of political theorists like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, economists Bibek Debroy and Mukul Asher of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Besides, organisations such as Janaagraha and National Innovation Foundation were being approached for solutions.
Image: A man sells balloons in front of the ancient church of Metekhi during the annual Tbilisoba City Day celebration in Tbilisi, Grogia ' Photograph: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters