Friday, December 21, 2012

Delhi's BJP leaders laud CM Modi

Remind that it is fifth win for BJP, hat-trick for Modi New Delhi: Despite prodding by mischievous media, BJP leaders at the national level – the members of Parliament of both Houses, the national party spokespersons and the rest – did not go ecstatic about Narendra Modi's third consecutive victory as chief minister in Gujarat. They took the correct position that this was the fifth consecutive victory of the BJP – the party had won two earlier elections in 1998 ( 117 seats) and in 1995 ( 121 seats) – and a third consecutive one for Modi. In 2002, BJP had won a record 126 seats and in 2007 117 seats. On Thursday, the party got 115 seats. Modi's victory was placed in perspective. Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley skirted the question about the factor of victory – Modi or BJP – and said the two are intertwined. But he did admit that Thursday's victory was a “personal mandate” for Modi as well. Former party president M.Venkaiah Naidu and Jaitley acknowledged that Modi remains one of the most successful BJP chief ministers, and that he is in the front rank of the party leaders in the country. They refused to be drawn into the issue of the role of Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The ritualistic reply that party leaders have in store is that the issue of who will lead the campaign in 2014 will be decided at the time. About the defeat of seven of Modi's cabinet colleagues in the election, it is being said that this was no fault of Modi but that people judged them on their individual performances. One of the party leaders speaking on condition of anonymity felt that the Congress had lost out to Modi because it did not duel with him after its bad experience in 2007. He said that Modi was indeed looking for a good fight – Modi is not himself in a campaign when he does not have a fight on his hand – and that the Congress avoided one. It was this lack of aggression on the part of Congress which left no scope for it to score points which could have livened up the election and could have fetched political and electoral dividend of some kind. He also said that three main rivals in Gujarat, Modi, Keshubhai Patel of the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) and Shankarsinh Vaghela (Congress) all share a RSS background. This is to show that Gujarat across the political spectrum is now dominated by leaders with a clear saffron tint and that there is not much room for the others. There is also the clear acknowledgment that the Muslims, the Dalits and the poor – especially the slumdwellers – leaned towards Congress, but that this was not a big part of Gujarat's electoral landscape.

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