Is Modi’s eccentricity polarising BJP?

The next 24 hours will prove crucial for Modi, which will decide BJP’s fate. Let’s see whether he shuns his eccentricity or sticks with it whatever may come.

Congress party leader and minister of rural development Jairam Ramesh today said that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi only talks about himself, “I, I, I, me, me, me”. The statement came at a time when Bhartiya Janata party’s parliamentary board was meeting today, mulling over declaration of Modi’s candidature for the prime ministerial post.

Sudhindra Kulkarni, while speaking to media said that Modi’s aspirations are polarising the party.

Till yesterday it was almost imminent that BJP will declare Modi as its candidate but Kulkarni’s statement has blurred the inevitable.

It is in public eye that BJP’s old stalwart Lal Krishna Advani is quite against declaring him as PM candidate. Whether it is a “soon” factor or “why at all” factor is not clear for now. Reportedly, Sushma Swaraj is also against declaring Modi as PM candidate now.

Modi has been the obvious choice of BJP even before the general elections came in near sight. He had been preparing for his role since then. Whether it be challenging PM and his government’s actions or targeting the Congress family, he has always addressed the nation rather than limiting himself to Gujarat.

The series of corruption in the government also made Modi the popular choice. The only blot in Modi’s career has been the 2002 Godhra riots. It never left Modi, and other leaders started refraining from supporting him openly fearing harm to their secular attitude.

The delay in Modi’s coronation has also been the fact that his stature is larger than life. Declaring him candidate now will only reduce the BJP led state’s chief ministers appearance and achievements. That has precisely been the reason that the chief ministers too opposed his coronation.

Modi, no doubt, has been eccentric. But he plays to his powers. He has always attacked the government on the basis of facts. He is sure of himself and that shows in his speeches. If we choose to call him eccentric because of this, then he needs to prove himself right.

One may say that the recent infamous letter by DG Vanzara may have changed thl6e mood of party to a great extent. After all it is a gamble for BJP. Modi may swing in votes, or given the rough patches in his chief ministership may also ward off a decisive section of voters.

Party leader and election strategist Rajnath Singh is eager to announce Modi’s candidature. He met Swaraj and later senior leaders Ananth Kumar and Ramlal over ending the deadlock.  As per media reports, Rajnath Singh has declared that within 24 hours, the party will come up with its prime ministerial candidate.

RSS has as always thrown its weight for Modi.

Now Rajnath Sigh has got two choices- either to seek support of every leader after untiring persuasion, or to bulldoze Advani and others to declare Modi as BJP’s PM candidate.

Whatever happens, few things will happen for sure. One, if Modi is declared candidate Sudhindra Kulkarni’s words may come true and BJP will be divided in two factions. Two, Advani’s stature will further diminish in the party.  Three, Modi will grow more eccentric and may go on deputing his choice of leaders in the election campaign.

All these things have the ability to go anyway- right or wrong. It may lead to BJP’s failure given secular figures’ apprehension over Modi. Or it may lead to successful campaigning as per Modi’s plan and BJP will win the election with Rajnath Singh later on being successful in persuading the party members.

The next 24 hours will prove crucial for Modi, which will decide BJP’s fate. Let’s see whether he shuns his eccentricity or sticks with it whatever may come.

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