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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Wannabe PM, Wanna Be CM

BJP's prime ministerial candidate seems to be in no mood to give up the privileges as Gujarat's chief minister.

Wannabe PM, Wanna Be CM
| AP FILE PHOTO/AJIT SOLANKI
Wannabe PM, Wanna Be CM
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Even as Gujarat got into a celebratory mood following the anointment of Narendra Modi as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial contender Forum The the 2014 general elections, it became adequately clear that he is in no mood to quit the chief ministership of the state.

The issue had been raised by his detractors within the party set up who wanted him to shift to Delhi to take charge of the national responsibilities being entrusted to him. However, the Gujarat chief minister seemed to be in no mood to oblige them and shot it down.

According to sources close to him, there is no such constitutional requirement and Modi would not like to forego the privileges and facilities that his present position offers him, especially not in the run up to the polls next year.

The Gujarat chief minister has no such moral hang ups in this regard and has utilised his position and the state machinery to the fullest in strategising for the State Assembly as well as the Lok Sabha elections.

Even in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage and the subsequent statewide communal riots, Modi had utilised the state machinery well for his Gaurav Yatra, which was the forerunner for the vidhan sabha elections that followed and were swept by him with a bulldozer of a margin, establishing his hold over the power structure in the state. He has never looked back thereafter.

Whether it is the garib kalyan melas or the statewide sadbhavana rallies, he has always strategised on a lineup of major engagements which have carried his distinct trademark and yielded bumper results during elections .

Even this time, much before his appointment as the campaign committee head of the BJP poll effort 2014, Modi had initiated the groundwork for a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is to be made twice the height of USA's statue of liberty. As soon as he was named the poll planning chief of his party, Modi merely upgraded the plan to national levels and named it the statue of unity and added the corollary of a collection of iron pieces from farm implements from every village as a symbolic gesture. And lo and behold, the alchemy of a national Modi trademark poll monument was ready for use!

Handpicked and selected teams have already gone to work, both within the Gujarat government  and outside, to prepare the blueprint for Modi’s election strategy props.

His confidence in this matter stems from the absolute loyalty he commands from the state BJP unit in Gujarat, which he has cleansed of all doubtful elements. He has been performing this exercise for over a decade and through numerous state elections and purges, dissidents were sent packing and those that remained were sidelined into obscurity. Gujarat is the least of his worries now for he has an iron hold over the set up and has enough people in place who would not even move a finger without consulting him and that includes the entire second line up of ministers - Nitin Patel, Anandiben Patel and Saurabh Dalal. Even if the BJP’s bid for power is thwarted post the 2014 elections, Modi will still continue to be the chief minister of the state and a thorn in the flesh of whoever rules in Delhi. The top three in Gujarat's cabinet - Anandiben, Saurabh Dalal and Nitin Patel continue, and strictly in that order, to find their names being bandied about. Nitin may be the number two in the cabinet but his is the last name in the reckoning among the top three. Interestingly, Modi himself has refrained from naming a successor, fully aware that it could open a pandora’s box and lead to much disaffection and consequent disintegration.

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