By Tushar Mangl:
The media, the Congress and anyone who is not in favor of the Bhartiya Janta Party is making a huge pomp and show about Narendra Modi taking over the BJP and running it like a one man army (Not that they should care, still that’s their opinion). Every day we read umpteen statements reflecting this opinion. How he is hijacking the party and how he could run our country like a dictator. Now, even the voices within the party are speaking up in this same language.
I do not agree with this line of thought (And no, for the record, I am not a diehard fan of Mr. Modi). Modi is not running a solo show here, as Media and other propaganda people tell us. It’s more about the story of Spoils of War. We all are familiar with the concept. In every battle, there is a victor and there is a loser. The bounty, the money and the resources left behind by the loser are shared by the victorious army. That is what is happening with the BJP.
The BJP is mostly a lethargic party like most other political parties in India. They want power, but are not in the habit of working hard towards it. When Vajpayee heralded the coalition era by stitching alliances with smaller parties, the sloth worsened. Why waste energy on expanding your base, when you can just find allies? Look at Haryana for example. It borders Delhi (from where BJP is actually run) and the BJP is nowhere on its political scene. Except for trying to fix alliances with INLD or HJP or whoever comes easily to them. The leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Ms. Swaraj is from Haryana, yet they could do nothing for expanding their presence in the state.
In this backdrop comes the hyperactive Mr. Modi from Gujarat. You can agree with him or disagree with him, but you just can’t ignore his forcefulness. He wants to be the Prime Minister and is ready to battle out Gandhi’s perpetual dynasty which rules India. Is it not obvious, that he will take matters in his own hands and not completely rely on other leaders who have done little to expand the party base? Considering the fact that the only real power that BJP has today is because of a handful of local leaders who have held on to their territories with great zeal. Can he rely upon the selected coitre of people who run the Party, but have no real mass base at all?
Mr. Advani is 87 years old, I guess. He still wishes to contest Lok Sabha elections. For a man who reached the peak of his career when he was crowned Deputy PM by Vajpayee, it should have been retirement time now. Yet, he wishes to cling on for yet another term. For, haven’t you read the mood of the country? The BJP has the best chances to come back to power. Instead of being delighted upon the fact that his protÃ©gÃ©e, Modi, might become the PM, the Guru wishes the larger pie of the spoils of war comes to him. What he fails to realize is that, if after doing so much hard work, Modi does not become PM, he will still remain a chief minister. And live to fight another day. Advani, however, with his sulking behavior in a room full of upbeat people, has lost respect of his dearest supporters.
Same is the case with Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi. He wishes to contest from Varanasi. The Party of course couldn’t control its own situation involving its own past President. Such is the disarray of the party. No wonder they look for Modi chants to pull them through. And if Modi wins, Dr. Joshi wants a piece of the action. It is not like he contests from Varanasi every time nor has some special affinity for the place. It’s about getting your pound of flesh for the work you have put up for the party.
And then there is the discourse from one Mr. Jaswant Singh. He sees Modi becoming larger than his party. In the last elections, he was not even contesting. Ultimately, they wanted someone to contest from Darjeeling so Mr. Singh was dispatched there. Now with BJP’s victory being predicted with amazing certainty, he has found his long lost love for the people of Barmer, and wishes to contest from there. I don’t know if Modi is a self-centred dictator or not, but he does want to win (that am sure about). Should he rely on the old warhorses of the BJP or bet on younger politicians like Vasundhra Raje, who gained a spectacular victory for BJP in the recently concluded assembly elections? (Yes, that’s why Barmer was a good seat, in Rajasthan; the BJP is on winning mode.) But Raje does not like Singh much so Modi has to take sides. That’s the cost of doing business. Raje can deliver him almost all seats from Rajasthan, so why would he antagonize her? She too wants a part of the action. (Apart from a seat for her son)
It’s happening everywhere else. The truth is that it is indeed a Modi wave, for BJP is stumbling and has no agenda right now. 15 years out of power in state assembly of Delhi, they could not form a strategy to win it comfortably. How they elect or select their national presidents only they, the RSS and the Gods know. Narendra Modi could force himself in the driver seat for he is the only one right now who could do something for the Party and the Country. By cleverly steering away from the bread and butter Hindutva policy of the party, he is talking about development (and doing some of it in his home state too), and other progressive issues. Rest of the party, devoid of any ideas of their own, is merely following him. So Modi is not forcing himself to be a one man army. The truth is that the BJP has no capable army left. Just a few local chieftains and old generals who all want a share of the booty, dig trenches on their regional turf but refuse to go down the full path of the battle.