Elst has been saying that Advani and other seniors in the BJP like nothing more than to seek the approval of the 'secularists'. They want desperately to be the B team of the Congress and lose in the bargain (why vote for the pale imitation when you can get the original - including aliens and babalog). I am personally amused at the presecriptions of these press-wallahs - all trumpeting that the BJP now needs to de-hinduise and become the party of the "centre right" (whatever that means). Only two years ao of course - the BJP was winning everything in sight (remember Gujarat and Karnataka?). What was it then? Lack of center-rightedness?
Personally I think the BJP has to look at this loss and be prepared for a long exile from power - like the Tories in Britain. However, they must devote time to develop an ideological and organisational base. They also have to realise that they will not have allies now and will need to go it largely alone - and in the light of a terminally hostile press. They must battle for the long haul
My favorite example is that of Karnataka - the BJP had nothing there a few years ago. However, they have used temples and other faith-based organisations to their advantage. They have networked and used these as delivery vehicles. Now - even with as unflamboyant a leader as Yedyurappa - they have their nose in front of the Congress and the Gowdas. It is because they actually developed an organization - and waited for the others to dig themselves into a hole!