Narendra Modi’s supporters are determined to ensure that he is nominated as the BJP’s candidate for Prime Minister as they are convinced that he alone can bring the party to power or closest to power. Leaders like L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, and others see themselves sidelined. Their reluctance is preventing the BJP parliamentary board from declaring Mr. Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. In case a decision is forced on them, they may split the BJP. And if the BJP gives in to Mr. Modi’s supporters, it stands to lose face and a forceful leader who can turn things around for the party.
Mr. Advani’s continued reluctance to name Mr. Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is surprising. His stance can damage the party’s prospects of winning the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The Modi issue will tilt the balance in favour of the party or against it.
Although naming Mr. Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is the personal choice of the party, one wonders why Mr. Advani is reluctant to give his consent. Does Mr. Advani think Mr. Modi cannot govern secular India? Mr. Modi has himself said he has a mandate to serve the people of Gujarat till 2017. Is the Gujarat Chief Minister losing hope of becoming the next Prime Minister?
A. Abdul Razack,
Mr. Advani’s time is past and his leadership is not as inspiring or motivating as Mr. Modi’s. If the senior BJP leader is projected as his party’s prime ministerial candidate, his past will come back to haunt him. The dormant Babri Masjid demolition case will be dusted up.
It is quite interesting to see some BJP leaders ignoring Mr. Advani’s opinion and batting for Mr. Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. By doing this even before spelling out the election strategy and alliance, they are sending out a clear message that the BJP will set the terms of a poll alliance, if any. Such an approach does not work well.