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Millennium Post

Modi should learn from Sushma now

It’s time the cynosure of the saffron camp, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, takes a lesson in politics from the old guard in Sushma Swaraj. The leader of opposition in Lok Sabha has categorically opposed the inclusion of B Sreeramulu and Venod Sharma into the NDA tent, disapproval based on Swaraj’s dissatisfaction with the taint that BSR and HJC would bring to the table. Swaraj’s staunch opposition lays bare the growing unease within the BJP camp over the party’s outreach to stitch up a ragtag coalition and improve its electoral bulk, irrespective of the ideology or the background of the party attachments. Sreeramulu’s BSR Congress and its longstanding association with the Bellary brothers of Karnataka, infamous for the mining scam worth over Rs 15,000 crore, has been a bone of contention for Swaraj, who distanced herself from the Reddy Republic after the scandal broke out in the open. This indeed is a commendable stance, given the accepted and entrenched culture of political-corporate nexus that constitutes the all-powerful ‘deep state,’ calling the shots irrespective of which party is in power. Essentially, Sushma Swaraj’s ire at the planned merger of Sreeramulu’s BSR Congress with the BJP in Karnataka and to Congress MLA Venod Sharma of Haryana Janhit Congress of Kuldeep Bishnoi is a pointer towards the rising graph of dissent within the BJP, which wants to come out as a cleaner alternative to the corruption and scam-laden Congress party and its UPA dispensation.

The curious silence from other quarters of the BJP on this development is, however, not a welcome sign. In addition, Narendra Modi’s public dalliances with the Ambanis and Adanis, as well as his stupendous refusal to explain his position or answer the myriad questions raised by voters, leaders of the opposition party, as well as to clear the air of allegations leveled against him by AAP top boss Arvind Kejriwal, poses serious questions. Hence, what needs to be driven home is that much like Swaraj, Modi too is liable to base his campaign on a culture of transparency, which would mean dissociating from rogue elements, both within the political and corporate firmaments. If Sushma Swaraj can remove herself from her one-time ‘friends’, the Reddy brothers, who helped her take on Sonia Gandhi in Bellary in 1998, can Modi also not come clean and sound a clarion call for cleaner and honest politics? Does not answering questions look good on a prime ministerial candidate, especially after a decade of wall-like silence from the current PM? How different will be Modi from Manmohan Singh if he does not choose to connect with the voters in their terms, dispel the myths and taints alike? Time is not right to hide behind silence. Instead, it’s about coming down heavily against corruption.
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