Thursday, April 11, 2013

How Nitish has little to gain on Modi front?

Narendra Modi exemplifies the saying that not every noun needs adjectives. But he has a stock full of those. Gujarat’s ‘ka sher’, ‘new Lion’, Gujarat’s Gaurav or ‘Pride of Gujarat’, Chhota Sardar, a ‘clean Chief Minister’ and a ‘CEO’ are all on the positive realm. Well, there are a few on the negativity too. 

In recent times, social networking sites have given him a title 'feku' (as a comparison to
Rahul Gandhi's tag of Pappu). But who among the two is the bigger 'feku' actually should be understood well.

That's besides the point. The real point to debate is can Modi emerge as BJP's candidate for prime ministership. The JD(U) hiccup as of now looks a rare ornamental and customary as Nitish Kumar, having gone so far against Modi, now has a little choice to make. But he can't go to Congress block and Bihar's caste-factors suggest unlike Naveen Patnaik or Mamata Banerjee, JD(U) cannot take an equi-distance stand too so easily. Actually, having underestimated Modi and perhaps over estimated his 'own Delhi cliche in BJP' led by Arun Jaitley and even L K Advani; Nitish has almost burned his finger.

He will find it very difficult to wriggle himself out of the chaotic jigsaw puzzle. Modi is determined to push his own case and unlike past, the new BJP chief Rajnath Singh is around this time backing him. On the BJP foundation day, Rajnath chose to visit Ahmedabad and laud Modi as "country's most popular leader". Even worst critic of Modi would agree on that line, because the kind of media frenzy Modi has created in last few weeks.

It is difficult to dismiss Modi's presence in television channels on whatever occasions he is speaking these days only to backroom 'machinations' and the art of media management, as his detractors would like to dismiss.

Moreover, party president Rajnath has shed the veil and has unequivocally backed him both in Ahmedabad and elsewhere. The message from Rajnath seems to be clear.
In fact, Rajnath has only given a royal snub to JD(U) when he volunteered to describe Modi as a 'secular leader'. He also made it clear to Nitish and others that a non-secular person cannot survive in BJP, a party which believes in appeasement to none and justice for all.

In other words, he is telling JD(U), look here guys, if my Modi is communal, so am I and perhaps also others in my party.
Modi as a phenomenon also suits RSS and thus to think from ivory tower intellectual hubs that RSS would not allow an autocratic Modi perhaps sounds only a figment of imagination. On April 11, party spokesperson, Nirmala Sitharaman, not the one to belong to one camp or the other in the saffron party, only made it further clear by saying that she was only dutifully endorsing what her party president had said that Modi is secular.

This neo-assertive style of Rajnath and BJP actually can yield better results than the mixed signal politics the saffron party had tried to play all along. 

Narendra Modi is back in news on practically hourly basis – almost
with vengeance. The country’s best known headline hunter that he is,the controversial Gujarat chief minister has able to live up to thatreputation. But the other ‘reputation’ of his --- a Muslim hater or so– is perhaps not altogether deserved. No, I have no qualms about whatsecularism would mean to him. What I have been trying to understand isthat all cynicism or suspicion about him from being a Hindutva zealotis actually supplemented well by the confidence of his works fordevelopment. At the same time, a hardcore political animal that he is,Modi does not quite want the Hindutva poster-boy image to be erasedcompletely.

But a tactful strategist that he is, in February this year, Modi avoided a visit to Allahabad for the Kumbh and instead addressed commerce students in Delhi.

The Late Naga leader Hokishe Sema once diagnosed that to survive and thrive in a political atmosphere that Modi inherited especially after post-2002 riots and highly successful election, one needs to have some peculiar qualities. 

Modi has in him that combined magic box of native understanding, trust in some hardliner ideology, willingness to manipulate things and an astute sense of humour and importantly the timing.

The theatrical perfection – of ‘Mia Musharraf’ rhetoric and ‘hum panch hamare pachis’ lines; his timely decision in 2012 polls not to field any Muslim candidate and telling the party cadres about 'nighwatchman' Sitaram Kesri and Manmohan Singh have added to his electoral support base and also the overall public image. 

It is erroneous to think that Modi did not understand Rahul Gandhi's metaphor of 'beehive'. 

On the contrary, Modi know that most Indians would not like the country to be compared with a 'beehive' --- that's the difference between imported metaphors and Modi's desi approach when he called Sonia Gandhi's aide, 'Ahmed Mia Patel'. Politics is no charity, Rahul and Digvijaya Singh could think inside; Modi tells it on your face -- with or without Nitish Kumar by his side.


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