It has been claimed that the BJP’s decision to name Narendra Modi as its prime-ministerial candidate, overruling the reservations voiced by veteran leader L.K Advani, was in deference to the feelings of the party cadre. I am reminded of the observation that “leaders spoil their followers who, in turn, spoil their leaders.”

In order to keep his supporters of militant Hinduism happy, Mr. Modi will never regret the killing of Muslims in the 2002 riots. By choosing a person who owes his popularity largely to his carefully chosen acts and speeches aimed at social polarisation, the BJP has taken an unwise decision.

S.P. Asokan,

Chennai

The BJP’s official declaration that Mr. Modi, projecting himself as a development icon, is its prime ministerial candidate has put the party to test.

The BJP can win the 2014 election only if his development identity overshadows his image of a communal leader.

Premjeet Kumar Barnwal,

Patna

The BJP getting a majority in the general election appears a remote possibility. It will need at least 180-200 seats to form a coalition. Mr. Modi’s autocratic image poses a threat to his acceptability across party lines. What if Mr. Modi helps the BJP win 200 seats in 2014 but doesn’t get the acceptance of his coalition partners to lead? Will the party and the RSS choose another candidate as Prime Minister?

S. Ghosh,

Kolkata

Withholding the announcement of the most popular BJP leader as the prime ministerial candidate was more like cushioning the inevitable.

That said, a daily wage earner may have no idea who Mr. Modi is. I hope the BJP workers and leaders will keep this reality in mind.

Vipul Kumar Tiwari,

Delhi

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