Ahmedabad | President Rajnath Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced a Hamletian dilemma recently in anointing Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections solely using his presidential powers. He knew someone as distinguished as patriarch LK Advani had been waiting for too long to get one last fling at being prime minister of India.
Rajnath Singh also knew the triumvirate Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were having their own jitters in formalising Modi for the top job. Yet the writing was on the wall as lakhs of BJP workers were hooting for Modi given his dynamism and his potential to end BJP’s wilderness at the national stage. But what finally settled the matter was the RSS which brooked no nonsense from Advani trying to play truant with a hurt ego. Formal announcement came on September 13 after RSS insisted that Modi’s name be announced without delay before the ‘inauspicious’ fortnight beginning September 20.
Things could have gone really wrong had Rajnath Singh’s hectic parleys had failed with two dissenters to Modi’s anointment, former party president Murli Manohar Joshi and another of potential prime ministerial candidate Sushma Swaraj, with the duo refusing to tow party chief’s line, RSS or no RSS.
Obviously, Rajnath Singh did lot of tightrope walking and what followed with Advani’s recriminatory letter expressing his ‘anguish’ over party chief’s style of functioning came as no surprise. BJP decided to ignore Advani given 2014 elections promising to be no cakewalk for any party and if the BJP has to be extricated from morass of the past half-hearted attempts it was by none other than Modi.
Today, vast sections of civil society from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, want to see Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India. What distinguishes Modi, albeit with a staunch RSS background, from other run-of-the-mill politicians is his ability to feel pulse of the people. Sullen anger against a blasé Congress’ damning corruption has rankled political discourse of today and supremacy of caste is no more a viable option. There is gloom in the air be it on foreign policy vis-à-vis China and Pakistan or the knee-jerk management of economy leading to crisis of confidence. Every economic parameter wants a quick intervention.
Modi with intuitive psychology can tune people’s emotions and his homilies on patriotism go straight to the heart as if he is addressing each one of his audience separately.
Modi is seen as a game-changer in corruption-ridden political landscape of ours primarily for his well-known dislike for money. Money has never been his aim though power clearly excites him! Wouldn’t that be a way of healing the festering wound of corruption?
His active social media effort is also inspiring the youth and could translate into votes making BJP victory all the more charming if he leads party to a clear majority. His road to the top is still strewn with internal bickerings and a concerted campaign from those outside the BJP who profess secularism poses a tough challenge. But Modi known for his uncompromising attitude likes to fight when the chips are really down.