Warning to direct, indirect allies
Take it from me that Udhhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray’s Navnirman Sena in Maharashtra; Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab; Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK in Tamilnadu and Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal and Kuldeep Bishnoi’s Janhit Congress in Haryana will be completely marginalised on the political canvas by the time country goes to next Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Let me also tell you that Navin Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh will be walking on a very rough road politically for next four-five years.
And one does not have to be an astrologer to see this written on the walls. RSS pracharak turned BJP leader, prime minister Narendra Modi cannot afford to have allowed these political outfits become strong and flourish in the years to come. He had a strong sense of this reality from the day he took oath as the prime minister around five months back that his survival in 2019 depends on the health of his own friends- individuals or organisations.
Therefore we are witnessing a systematic alienation of BJP’s allies and old guards. It had become quite obvious in the summer of 2013 when Narendra Modi started applying every possible tactic to capture BJP so much so that he did not spare even the senior most leaders of his own party, if they crossed his way and dumped them ruthlessly. Everybody in BJP had to tow his line and ultimately agree to his candidature as the prime minister.
It was not only Lal Krishna Advani who was sulking, but leaders like Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari were also not in favour of Modi initially. BJP’s allies of course were against the idea of announcing Modi the prime ministerial candidate of NDA. But they had no guts to stop him and Modi ultimately high jacked everything and started asking the people to give his party 272 seats straight away. BJP allies might have dreamt for berths in NDA government, but Modi had made it clear to them well before the results were out, that they had no place in his scheme of things.
Narendra Modi, then could crush dreams of the leaders of his own party and allies even when he was not occupying the highest chair of the country. Now he is the supremo of a government in which no other ministry or department or individual has any decisive role.
Everything is run by the Prime Minister’s Office and Modi has 356 committed officers of his choice in PMO, out of whom, 64 work in his personal staff. Never ever after independence a prime minister had such a strong attendance of bureaucrats in the South Block. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a PMO of only 12 bureacrats during the last NDA government and Dr Manmohan Singh effectively ran the country for 10 years only with a PMO of 11. Modi is enjoying an absolute control over his government as well as over his party through his trusted lieutenant Amit Shah. This can give him a tremendous appetite and temptation to swallow his allies as soon as possible and not wait for their natural phasing out.
BJP has an eye on 141 Lok Sabha seats in addition to 282 which are already in its kitty and is seriously working on the strategies to get the seats occupied by other right to centre political parties in different states. Jayalalithaa’s 39, Mamata Banerjee’s 34, Naveen Patnaik’s 19, Udhhav Thackeray’s 18, Chandra Babu Naidu’s 16, K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s 11 and Parkash Singh Badal’s 4 seats in sixteenth Lok Sabha are a reason of BJP’s increasing saliva and it is very natural for a person like Narendra Modi who has an imperialistic approach to his politics to not leave any stone unturned to achieve his goal. A person who thinks elections are not elections but wars and everything is fair in a war will go to any extent and will not hesitate in waging a fight for the finish, even with his own people and like minded forces.
As the organiser of L K Advani’s Rath Yatra which left un-washable blood stains and as an administrator in Gujarat under whose watch the state burnt and thousands were killed, Narendra Modi does not need to have a certificate from anybody of his organising and administrative capacities. His ‘Sabka Saath’ slogan also does not need anybody’s endorsement and everybody knows that no Muslim was given BJP’s ticket to contest in the three Assembly and the two Lok Sabha elections during the period when Modi was at the helm of affairs in Gujarat.
So, this is the time when BJP’s direct and indirect allies must be cautious because the threat is from an enemy within. Sometimes the threat of extinction is more real than many realise. So, they really need to work hard on their threats.
The author is editor and CEO of News Views India