Finally on Sunday afternoon BJP President Rajnath Singh has announced Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s name as the Chairman of the Lok Sabha campaign committee and momentarily able to stop the speculations on which the national television shows and newspapers were running stories for the last three days. The journalists, editors, show anchors and of course viewers were sitting on couch to see a reality thriller which was playing on Goa.
BJP did not disappoint anyone, the drama continues for 70 odd hours with several pro-Modi and ante-Modi faces commented on future courses and Twitter was full with re-tweet and arguments. Channels run polls after polls on Viewers’ choice and bore us with ‘Breaking News’. I am positive that if Ekta Kapoor watched Goa Dhamaka, then her next shop opera will be on BJP’s ghar ki kahahi or kyunki Advani bhi kabhi leader thi (sorry tha!).
Once a journalist who follows closely BJP politics told that the party is so unpredictable that it will be a blunder to comment what they will do the next. I remember 2009 BJP’s Chintan Sibir in Shimla, media gathered there to get the news on BJP’s strategy and analysis on their loss in last general election…hallelujah…BJP did what no one expected, expelled its respected and senior party member Jaswant Singh!
This time a new show: Veteran leader and founder member of BJP, Mr. L.K. Advani found himself relevant once again. People forgot (almost) his name – sometimes he made headlines with his controversial ‘Jinnah’ comment or his apology letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi or through his Vishmapitamaha style of blog writing – but in general he has been a faded figure in Indian politics.
However this time around the ex ‘iron man’ publicly rebelled against Modi’s nomination and ‘boycott’ the party conclave. He has become the face of the nation against Narendra Modi and his significance increase so much so that his arch rival Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh bats for him and on behalf of ‘abhimani’ Advani, Digvijaya lashed out at Modi-Rajnath duo. Kudos! ‘Enemies enemy is my friend!’
Sunday’s announcement to make Modi the Chief of poll panel for 2014 general election gives a sigh breath to all of us. This ‘to be or not to be’ was too much to take. At last Modi wins against all odds (RSS + Advani camp + Nitish Kumar + NDA allies + Media) – may be this is a momentarily win but win in deed.
Advani camp is heart-broken. Most of them declared sick at the beginning of the conclave and now many of them may be gone for hunger strike! Will they join Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP party…hmmmm time will tell.
Nitish Kumar has started getting calls from Congress; Prakash Karat may forget America and will extend support to Congress; SP,BSP, JD (S) and even TMC will find ally in Congress. It’s surely a polarized risk BJP has taken, and most certainly the next election will be Modi’s BJP vs everyone (except insignificant few regional parties)
But I was wondering why Congress is so skeptical about Modi. Will they fear that they have left with no other choice than to project Rahul Gandhi as their Prime Ministerial candidate? Will they make it official RAGa Vs NaMo! Ohhh what a show it will be if it happen for the next general election. The battle between two bachelors, two most opposite personalities, identity politics vs development model, modesty vs autocracy and it will be a decisive battle for ideas and India will need to decide.
Although Advani camp is saying ‘show abhi bhi baki hain mere dost!’ and so does the television anchors and pundits but as Indian media is over with featuring Modi’s immediate fate they will now concentrate on political postmortem of Modi…and to get highest TRPs NaMo chant will continue in media…
Sometimes I feel Modi’s increasing popularity is also due to the sinicism shows by most of the political parties and media. The best example I can give is from my own state West Bengal. Communists in West Bengal chant Didi mantra more than Trinamool voters and naming Mamata on each issue have made Mamata more popular than them.
Now if we come to the core issue of Modi’s appointment as the campaign head for BJP, there are several questions popping up in my mind.
Is this a transitional phase for BJP while old guards are going backstage and new guards are taking over with their new idealism? BJP’s attempt to make Advani isolated raising these questions. BJP President Rajnath Sing took a huge risk to bring Modi in centre politics. Will it be paid off? Will BJP face an immediate split? Will Modi able to get senior leaders like Jaswant Sinha, Uma Bharti or Sushma Swaraj to work with him or under him?
Well these all are million dollar questions. For now I can put money on powerful Modi, but betting is a crime…so no bets… Let’s focus on several other questions.
Will Modi able to emerge as the national leader beyond Gujarat? Will his development model will be accepted elsewhere in the country? Will Modi able to repeat his Gujarat story in a country like India where every sates has its unique presence and different from others? Will whole India accept him as its leader? Will BJP feel isolated in national politics after bringing hard face in the front who is not acceptable to most of his own allies in NDA? Will Modi’s style appropriate for national level politics? How Congress will tackle Modi’s rough-talker style? Will Rahul Gandhi’s modest face vs Modi’s dominating, autocratic style acceptable in the coalition era in Indian politics? Well, time can only answers this and till then watch the fresh political drama. For now let’s chant NaMo mantra till a new show overtakes…
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