NVONews.Com Special Correspondent,
New Delhi: Never before in Indian history any popular chief minister with 11 years of standing has come under so much attack by his own party central leadership as Narendra Modi. In fact till a couple of years back he was considered as the darling of the same set of leaders.
First it was the blog of party patriarch, Lal Krishna Advani; than the party’s mouthpiece, Kamal Sandesh and than the RSS’s organ, Panchjanya, all three in three consecutive days came down heavily on him.
While Advani also expressed his reservation over the manner in which Nitin Gadkari got the second term as the party’s president, the RSS openly questioned the way Modi is being projected as the prime ministerial candidate by his supporters. There are many senior leaders and the chief ministers who can be in the race, it felt. The RSS was, in particular, upset over the way Modi made the removal of Sanjay Joshi as a condition to attend the National Executive of the party in Mumbai last month.
The way the Gujarat chief minister has come under attack certainly shows that everything is not hunky-dory in the BJP and Sangh Parivar. It is other thing that throughout the National Executive meeting the media, in general, dubbed the removal of Joshi as a victory to Narendra Modi. This upset many top BJP leaders too.
Whether Modi is the choice of the BJP as such or not can not be said with certainty. But he is certainly the first choice for the post of prime minister by a sizeable section of corporate media, who believe more in sensational stories than perhaps anything else. Perhaps this serves their business more than anything else.
Ironically sometimes the same media projects the Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, as the prime ministerial candidate. This again has more to do with business and advertisement than the actual ground reality.
Ever since the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement about the failure to fulfil Raj Dharam during the 2002 riots to the ouster of the NDA in 2004 Parliamentary election till now a strong section of the BJP top brass strongly feel that the Modi phenomenon has harmed the party more than it benefited it.
As the industry and media have their own interest they are projecting the whole story in a twisted manner, the truth is that even during the high time of the 2004 Lok Sabha election the BJP could win only 13 out of 24 seats. The Congress surprised the entire country by winning 11 seats when organizationally it was no match to the BJP in that state. Thus Modi can at most ensure victory to the party in Assembly election. Both in 2004 and 2009 wherever Modi went outside Gujarat the performance of the BJP was bad. In Bihar the NDA could do well only because Nitish Kumar did not allow him to campaign.
Modi has harmed the reputation of the party and India internationally too. Besides, the brash manner in which he treats all the leaders within the party has antagonised a large number of them. First this was confined to the state, now at the national level.
As Gujarat has a long coast and a big presence of entrepreneur communities it has always been a happy hunting ground for the investors. This is a pre-liberalization phenomenon. For example in 1980s when there was Hindu rate of growth all over India this western state’s growth rate was as high as 34 per cent, 30 per cent, 25 per cent and so on. It was 12-13 per cent before the advent of Modi himself in 2001. In fact under him it has slightly got slowed down.
So it is the compulsion of the industries to pamper whosoever becomes the chief minister of Gujarat. Modi is nothing special. The truth is that he is gradually becoming a liability of a sort for his party now with the Assembly election only six months away and Lok Sabha poll due in 2014 summer.