|L. K. Advani, Senior BJP Leader|
|Narendra Modi, CM, Gujrat|
Despite the high voltage shock of L K Advani resigning from important Party posts, the BJP workers across the country are solidly behind the Party decision to let Modi take the charge of the elections. The cadre is enthused with the development though some senior Party leaders lament the decision of Advani withdrawing himself from the centre stage.
It is being said in the Congress camp that senior leaders belonging to the Advani camp will not take active part in the elections to ensure that the BJP does not get enough seats in the Lok Sabha to form the government. I would advise the Congress leaders to look into the past of its history. When Congress veterans like Moraraji Desai and regional satraps like S Nijlingappa revolted against Indira Gandhi in 1969 people thought that Indira Gandhi’s political career was doomed. But she proved her critics and opponents wrong by pulling out a convincing victory in 1971 general elections. What matters in electoral politics is garnering of votes. She emerged strongest Congress leader after Nehru because she won votes for the Congress.
Those who are beating the chest over political ascendency of Narendra Modi are better advised to realize the fact that Modi is one leader of the BJP today who can win votes for the Party. It is possible or may even be true that there are few BJP leaders who are more competent than Modi. But none of the top brass of the BJP has the charisma of Modi who draws crowd. Now people are interested in what Modi says. This is a major index of popularity of a leader.
Why only the BJP workers, even the youth of the country and people at large want Modi to lead. If this is true then BJP is all set to win good number of seats to form the government at the Centre. Doubts are being expressed that with Modi at the helm, it will be difficult for the BJP to find allies to get the magic figure of 272 in the Lok Sabha.
One has to go back to 1996. The mandate was fractured. The BJP was invited to form the government by the then President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma since it was the single largest Party with 161 seats. Atal Behari Vajapyee took the oath as Prime Minister. But he failed to secure support of other parties to prove his majority on the floor of the House. The result: Vajpayee Government fell in 13 days.
Two years later in 1998, Vajpayee formed the government again at the Centre with 182 seats in the Lok Sabha. Realising that Vajpayee was a vote catcher all regional parties came on the Board and the NDA was formed. The political equations of 1998 came in place again 1999 with Vajpayee as the Prime Minister for the third time.
Once the BJP is able to win anything between 190-210 seats in the next Lok Sabha, all the regional parties that are making noises today will come to support the BJP led government. It is anybody’s guess now who would lead the government.
~ R. K. Sinha