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Mr Modi's Troubles With The Family

Writing in the Hindustan Times, Swapan Dasgupta explains Narendra Modi’s absence from last week’s BJP national executive:

The decision to stay away from last week’s meeting was over an issue that may strike people as very trivial: it was a protest against BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s decision to quietly rehabilitate former organisation secretary Sanjay Joshi. The Modi-Joshi spat dates back to the politics of Gujarat in the mid-1990s when Modi was packed off to Delhi and made to feel unwelcome in his home state, where Joshi ran the organisation. Following Modi’s triumphant return in 2001, Joshi was hastily shifted out of Gujarat, elevated to a national post in Delhi and then abruptly removed in 2006 following an unsavoury sex scandal...

In questioning Joshi’s resumption of an active leadership role in the BJP, Modi was doing more than questioning Gadkari’s judgement. Joshi, after all, wasn’t just any other apparatchik; he was an erstwhile RSS pracharak (full-timer) from Nagpur whose return to political life had been authorised by the RSS top brass. In questioning Joshi’s return, Modi was simultaneously questioning the right of the RSS to decide political appointments in the BJP...

Modi’s open defiance of a RSS whip is calculated to throw Nagpur into a tizzy. There are whispers in the Sangh of the need to prevent Modi from holding a strategic veto. A bitter war of attrition between an over-bearing Parivar and a mass leader could be in the offing, with ominous consequences for the BJP. Modi, after all, is questioning the RSS claim to be more equal than the others.

The conflict is likely to crystallise over the leadership question for the next general election..

Read the full piece at the Hindustan Times: Muscling his way in

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