Notwithstanding the discord brewing in the NDA coalition, BJP has decided to move ahead with Narendra Modi. Though Nitish Kumar tried hard to show off his might but majority in BJP are in favour of fighting the next elections under the leadership of Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who has arisen to the pinnacle of power.
Interestingly, this race for the top position in the party has created a new rat race and has brought to focus the names of Sushma Swaraj, Lal Krishan Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi who are also eying the top slot in the party.
RSS too seems to be dubbing for Narendra Modi given his mass appeal among the rank and file of the party. After imposing Nitin Gadkari as the leader of the party, RSS had to bite the dust instead when Nitin Gadkari’s Purti group of companies got embroiled in controversy. Infact, Nitin Gadkari had to resign from the post of chief of BJP.
This can perhaps explain the silence of RSS which otherwise is quite vocal in expressing its sentiments, especially when it comes to projecting BJP’s option for the position of Prime Minister.
Strange are the ways of Indian politics when even RSS has to bow in favour of Narendra Modi which it had been seeing as a potential threat to its choices. Infact with the weakening of RSS, decentralization of power has occurred and leaders like Suresh Soni have started backing Narendra Modi, sensing the mood in the party.
Interestingly, senior leaders as Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha are feeling sidelined and understandably after making few noises have withdrawn to the background.
It is not as if the party is not aware of the risks that it is undertaking by deciding to go with the name of Narendra Modi for the position of Prime Minister. The party is at risk given the opposition of some of its allies who have voiced their concern on being a part of the alliance, if the elections are fought under his leadership.
Secondly, the BJP is at risk of losing all its Muslim votes if it decides to go ahead with the name of Narendra Modi. However, the party has little choices and is banking on the development that Narendra Modi has been able to bring to Gujarat in the last 10 years, not withstanding the Gujarat riots for which the leadership of Narendra Modi is blamed largely.
Alliance partners in NDA have their own assumptions. They cannot risk aligning with Narendra Modi as these alliance partners have a considerable hold over Muslim votes in their state. Perhaps this is the reason that has motivated Nitish Kumar to come out openly against Narendra Modi.
However, whatever might the concerns of alliance partners be, the fact of the matter is that Narendra Modi has considerable hold over ranks and file in the party and BJP cannot take the risk of ignoring his candidature for the position of Prime Minister, if the party manages to come to power.