Thursday 1 November 2012

Is Modi heading for hatrick or disaster?

Will Narendra Modi be the CM or PM is the question many in BJP are asking. With the Gujarat elections round the corner, most observers are of the view BJP and Modi will be back for the third term. If he wins, it won’t impact much, but if it is a landslide victory then he will emphatically claim to be the BJP candidate for the PM’s post.

This time round, it’s not going to be easy for Modi. He has to take into account the Keshubhai Patel, Joshi and Togadia factors as they will wean away a large chunk of votes from Modi. In his election campaign, he has generally spoken less of development and problems in Gujarat, and mostly spoken about Central Congress leaders, sometimes attacking them on personal level to provoke them to respond. And they have cleverly ignored his batter. This seems to be his strategy to focus on the national scene projecting him self as an able national leader.

Many feel though successful in Gujarat, he evokes a negative feeling outside the state, even within some amongst the BJP. In Gujarat, Narendra Modi is BJP, he does not allow anybody to flourish or take the limelight. Time and again he has shown he can’t take criticism even from his own party workers. He even sounds arrogant at times and gives an impression he is the savior of Gujarat and the people of the state. Gujarat was a progressive state even earlier during Congress rule, but Modi has been able to harness it and package this further development as his own success story.

Some insiders say this time he may have a tough time though he is not facing an incumbency factor as there is rebellion brewing within. He is still popular however as most Indian politicians, he has the habit putting his foot in the mouth by making silly comments and baseless allegations. He has attracted a lot of criticism for commenting on women. Many even want to know where is his school teacher wife he left years a go?

Many BJP supporters are projecting him as the next PM. But some within the BJP want to restrict him to Gujarat. Even the NDA allies are not enthusiastic about him for PM’s post. This is only possible if BJP wins more seats than its NDA allies. Presently this seems far fetched. Even if it does win, there are other candidates in the BJP, including the perennial Prime minister in waiting LK Advani who may be more acceptable in the BJP and amongst the NDA allies. Goa’s CM Manohar Parikkar deemed as young, educated and progressive may be the dark horse. The overall acceptability of Narendra Modi as the national leader and PM candidate seems to be bleak. Some NDA leaders have opposed to Modi being projected as the PM candidate. And Modi after his hatrick would certainly like to shift his base to Delhi to concentrate on national politics as he feels he is destined for bigger role in BJP at the centre. But will he be given that space and will he be a success?

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