Elections are upon us and according to opinion polls the probability of a BJP alliance at the centre is quite high. Riding high on its ‘Modi wave’ the party seems to be capturing or rather stealing seats in every part of the country. Their prime ministerial candidate Narendra modi is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to publicity and marketing, be it advertisements on the television or his famous slogan ‘Abki baar Modi Sarkar’ being repeated on the radio time and again.
However while all might look rosy on the face of it, the inside story seems to tell a different tale. The BJP which is promoting its status as a united house seems to have a few cracks here and there. Be it Sushma Swaraj or LK Advani, not everyone seems to be toeing the NAMO regime. Sushma Swaraj, the party’s most powerful ‘woman’ first showed signs of disunity when she criticised the decision of refusing senior party leader Jaswant Singh a ticket from Barmer. Even later on in her campaign she completely avoided the NAMO tagline and reference to the ‘Modi wave’. This leads one to believe that perhaps the BJP is indeed a divided house. If this isn’t convincing enough for you then recently senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi denied the existence of a Modi wave and claimed that it was a BJP wave and Narendra Modi was merely the prime ministerial candidate. He also stated that Modi’s Gujarat model of growth would not be applicable for all the states and as a major part of Modi’s campaign is built on his success in Gujarat and his development of the Gujarat model of growth, this dealt a personal blow to the aspiring PM. Lastly in September senior BJP leader LK Advani unsuccessfully challenged the decision of the party to announce Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate, and later on his request to contest the elections from Bhopal was denied and after a media scandal he agreed to contest from Gandhinagar. Recently Congress Vice-President Mr. Rahul Gandhi attacked Narendra Modi claiming that he had demoted LK Advani from the tallest leader of the BJP to a small leader. Even though both LK Advani and Narendra Modi have been projecting a united front and have been mutually complimenting each other whenever possible, one can sense that the ground beneath is still shaky.
These incidents have certainly become a major obstacle for the Modi wave, as no citizen could possibly favour a divided house as a ruling party. However it would be unfair to say that amends have not been made. Although LK Advani and Narendra Modi had their differences in the past, they seem to have buried the hatchet for the greater good and Mr.Advani is now totally supportive of Modi as the next PM. Same goes for Sushma Swaraj, who seems to have accepted the NAMO reign and has shifted her focus to her own constituency without making any controversial remarks about Modi or his campaign. As for Manohar Joshi, he seems to have learnt his lesson as at a recent function where he was the Chief Guest, party workers shouted pro modi slogans, showing their support for Narendra Modi and in a way outright denying Joshi’s claims that it is a BJP wave and not a Modi wave.
Therefore even though the Congress and AAP are projecting the BJP as a divided house, the truth is that it is merely facing the problems which any political party of its size and stature must face and is dealing with them in the best manner possible. Perhaps there is a rift in the BJP, however it doesn’t seem like it has enough magnitude to thwart the party’s dream of forming a government at the centre.