Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Narendra Modi BJP PM candidate

Narendra Modi is officially BJP’s PM candidate. Unofficially he had been PM candidate for some time, especially after he won third term as Gujarat’s chief minister. Many in BJP wanted to prevent his rise but did not succeed. Most fell in line, except Advani.
Most members of BJP and RSS wanted Narendra Modi to be named PM candidate. Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, and Anant Kumar were opposed to Narendra Modi. Modi had support of large number of ordinary members and there was pressure on BJP and RSS leaders to declare Modi PM candidate. RSS leaders wanted BJP to declare Modi PM candidate. Yashwant Sinha agreed to Modi’s leadership. Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha stopped their opposition. Anant Kumar, supposed to be a supporter of Advani, did not continue his support to Advani. Murli Manohar Joshi made his opposition subtle by saying chief ministers should be consulted. Sushma Swaraj was on the side of Advani. RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat had made it clear that Modi should be declared PM candidate with or without Advani’s consent.
On 12th September night Rajnath Singh rang up to Uddhav Thackeray and Parkash Singh Badal and informed them that he will announce Modi as PM candidate. After this Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj fell in line. Advani skipped Parliamentary Board meeting. Members present were in agreement to Modi’s elevation. When Rajnath Singh made the announcement Sushma Swaraj was seated at Modi’s right side. Murli Manohar Joshi was there to congratulate Modi. BJP members celebrated with firecrackers, music and dance.
Advani tried many tricks. He tried to promote Shivraj Singh Chouhan as rival to Modi. That did not succeed. He wanted the announcement to be delayed till after the Legislative Assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi. He wanted Modi to quit as Gujarat chief minister. Nothing succeeded. He lost respect of BJP leaders. Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted Advani had failed to gauge the public mood and there was overwhelming popular sentiment in favour of Narendra Modi.
There was a sting operation trying to embarrass Modi. There was Vanzara’s resignation letter blaming Modi for not taking care of Gujarat’s police officers and blaming Amit Shah for manipulating moving of trials out of Gujarat. Such things did not stop onward march of Modi.
BJP leaders who egged on Nitish Kumar to quit NDA and take JD(U) out of NDA in opposition to Narendra Modi as PM found to their chagrin an obstacle to Modi’s elevation had disappeared.
Advani cuts a sorry figure. He is lonely and sulks. BJP will not miss him if he quits. His letter to Rajnath Singh makes no difference to BJP. BJP is RSS property and RSS will dictate what should be done. Advani’s associate Sudheendra Kulkarni came out to defend Advani and oppose Modi to no avail. If Advani creates problems BJP can expel him.
Anointment and coronation are not the right words to describe announcement of PM candidate. We are not talking of any king, priest or prophet.
Some compare Narendra Modi to Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi wanted her way. When she did not get it she split the party in 1969 and 1978. The three Supreme Court judges who did not give their verdicts as she wanted were not promoted to be Chief Justices. When Allahabad High Court set aside her election she imposed emergency and amended the constitution. She toppled non-Congress governments.
It is for BJP to decide who should be its PM candidate. It is not proper for TV channels to ask members of other parties to comment on BJP’s choice. Most parties are personal or family properties.
Many want a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi contest. Congress has not declared Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate though many in Congress want to see him as PM. Some say the contest is irrelevant as regional parties will get more than half of the seats.
It is useless to speculate which party will get how many seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Predictions mostly go wrong.

Updated: September 14, 2013 — 7:57 am

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  1. We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India.

    Please visit MODI360.COM to review and sign this petition.

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