Millennium Post

For Atal’s legacy, Modi now ‘voices’ support for Rajnath

For Atal’s legacy, Modi now ‘voices’ support for Rajnath
Lucknow, the capital of politically significant state of Uttar Pradesh, goes to poll on Wednesday along with another 88 Lok Sabha seats. BJP president Rajnath Singh is locked in a fight of prestige with senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi to retain the seat for the BJP, which has remained with the party since 1991.

Amidst much controversy, the party replaced sitting MP Tandon with the party president as its candidate. On poll eve, Tandon is last of the problems faced by Rajnath. He is getting sleepless nights over the impression that he was emerging as an alternative to the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The crisis has turned so grim that Rajnath Singh’s camp has come out with the clarification that he did not eye a role in the government and would rather continue to look after the party. The news comes in the midst of a buzz being created by the slogan, ‘Modi ko PM banana hain, Rajnath of harana hain (To make Modi PM, one has to defeat Rajnath).’

The BJP cadres in Lucknow were cheesed off when Rajnath Singh, who early in his career had lost an assembly election from one of the segments, met Shia Muslim cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad. The Maulana ruffled many feathers when he said, ‘Muslims are scared of Narendra Modi, but I see an image of Atalji in Rajnath Singh.’ To woo the 20 percent Muslim voters in the constituency, the BJP president met some more Muslim clerics and even went to a mausoleum wearing a skull cap, something Modi has refused to do so far.

The talk of differences between Rajnath and Modi became sharper when the latter failed to turn up for campaign in Lucknow and ultimately Singh had to SOS Modi to issue a clarification that there was no difference between the two. Having extracted a ‘promise’ from Rajnath that he would keep to the party,  Modi issued a voice mail which said that he could not come to Lucknow as he was busy campaigning elsewhere and that Rajnath as party president has been his guide in the exhaustive campaign.

He went on to add that the duo of Rajnath and Modi wants to work together for Lucknow to keep alive the legacy of Vajpayee. ‘More important than winning the seat, it’s the question of BJP leadership which has been settled,’ said a party leader commenting on the timing of Modi’s appeal for Rajnath.
Sidharth Mishra

Sidharth Mishra

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