Friday, September 20, 2013

And the Deed was Done

The Deed is done. NaMo was finally announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate on Friday the 13th. That announcement should have ended the speculation and the behind-the-scenes-intrigues and what have you, but it really did not. 

What had actually happened was that the Tallest Leader a.k.a. Lal Krishna Advani was a strong dissenter and refused to change his mind from a few months back when NaMo was appointed the head of the campaign committee. LKA seems to have raised quite the same issues as last time – that Modi is a polarizing presence and that the BJP would be better off either postponing his anointment as the Prime Ministerial candidate or projecting another leader altogether. 

When LKA had voiced dissent the last time around; he was, in turns, placated and coerced into going along. This time Speaking Head after Speaking Head of the BJP appeared on National TV and spoke of their respect for him but went on to add, sadly, that he is out of tune with the aspirations of the cadres and the Indian masses. The aspiration obviously is to see NaMo as the Prime Minister. 

A week ago LKA certainly looked like a petulant patriarch who was getting increasingly isolated within his own party and who, for all intents and purposes, was talking nonsense by arguing that the BJP would be better off without NaMo at the helm of affairs. 

Today the thinking is that LKA is resigned to the fact that NaMo is the BJP’s PM candidate and that there is nothing he can do now to change the situation. This ‘realization’ probably explains the praise for NaMo’s rural electrification record a couple of days back.

But why on earth was LKA objecting to NaMo? Especially when according to the BJP Talking Heads the entire rank and file of the party was solidly behind NaMo and that they sensed a wave for NaMo across the country. Is it because the Tallest Leader still harbours Prime Ministerial ambitions himself? Or is there solid ground for him to object?  Are LKA’s fears as trivial as is being made out to be by the NaMo supporters? Or are they very valid points that are just being swept under the carpet by the top brass of the BJP?

This Blog, over the next few weeks, will try to analyze if there is merit in LKA’s argument. This is not a partisan blog, neither of us is either a fanatical supporter of NaMo or a rabid opponent. This is merely an attempt to cut through the noise and see if it is truly possible for the BJP under NaMo to win at the hustings in 2014. 

Briefly, a political party needs 273 to come to power at the Centre. Will the BJP be able to achieve that magical number on it own? Highly unlikely that the BJP can get there on its own. In fact it is almost impossible that anyone within the BJP thinks they will be able to come to power at the Centre on their own. That means that the BJP needs the NDA to come to power. As of now, the components of the NDA seem to be the SS and the SAD. Who are the others? There do not seem to be too many others at this point in time to support them.

Let’s run through the laundry list: 

1.       The Communists ---- hahahaha
2.       DMK --- NO
3.       AIADMK – probably
4.       JD(S) - UNLIKELY
5.       TDP – Unlikely
6.       YRS Congress –No?
7.       NCP – NO
8.       BJD – UNLIKELY
9.       TMC – NO
10.   JD (U) – NO
11.   National Conference – NO
12.   The Jharkhand Groups – Probably

Given this scenario who are the allies who are going to bring them the seats that will bring them to power? Do they need allies or can they do with political parties who will provide them outside support post elections? Will these parties come on board with NaMo at the helm, after all they have their own political compulsions?

All of these questions and the answers to them are crucial for the BJP to come to power. Could this be the reason LKA had a problem with NaMo and not out of spite or thwarted ambition?

This is precisely what we plan to explore in great detail along with a state wise break-up of the seats that the BJP/NDA is likely to garner in the 2014 elections.

With Sameer Nair 

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