May 29, 2020
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The Myth Of Eternal Return

The Myth Of Eternal Return
In the BJP’s nativised scheme of things, a foreign adage is often made to stand on its head. So, if one thought it impossible to have one’s cake and eat it too, one needs to take heart from chief minister Narendra Modi’s example. Deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and BJP president Venkaiah Naidu made this more than clear at a party workers’ convention in Ahmedabad on October 8. They dutifully reiterated what they had been saying for the past few months: the Gujarat chief minister was doing an excellent job.

Advani took pride in the fact that Modi had stayed on as the chief minister beyond October 3, the six-month deadline between two sittings of the state assembly. The deputy prime minister also tried to scotch speculations that Modi would ultimately cease to be the chief minister: "Today is October 8 and Modi is the chief minister and will continue to be so." The gaurav yatra, which had earlier been shot down by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, also has Advani’s approval: "After the state’s image was tarnished, it was necessary to highlight the issues which are the pride of Gujarat. This was the purpose of the yatra."

However, former chief minister Keshubhai Patel did a Vajpayee, when he cautioned arch-rival Modi to put his ears to the ground and conduct himself with modesty. He, of course, used the party workers as proxy audience to convey his message: "The voters will evaluate our performance, and so we must desist from making irrelevant statements and provide a healing touch. Don’t be overconfident about victory."

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