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PM post controversy: Why Modi is sitting pretty

Last updated on: June 20, 2012 20:32 IST

PM post controversy: Why Modi is sitting pretty

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

Narendra Modi's supporters are not worried over the bitter divide in the NDA on the presidential poll. They also feel that Nitish Kumar is posturing over the prime ministerial post prematurely. The spin that they are giving over the various statements on the issue is that the 'RSS is batting for Modi'. Sheela Bhatt explains.

Under the excuse of rebutting the views of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a section of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has started batting for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Contrary to the public perception, Modi's supporters in the saffron family are not very worried to see the bitter divide within the National Democratic Alliance over the presidential election.

Nitish Kumar's advice to the Bharatiya Janata Party to select a secular candidate for the prime ministerial post before the 2014 election has not gone down well but a section of the RSS, which is pro-Modi, thinks that Nitish Kumar has spoken because he is taking seriously the outcome of the BJP's national executive meet in Mumbai.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi


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Modi supporters think that Nitish Kumar's 'advice to the BJP' is a validation of the fact that Modi is in the game for the race for the prime minister's post after the next general election.

Many people in the RSS-BJP think that Nitish Kumar is 'posturing' much ahead of 2014 and that would be to the advantage of Modi because, "the issue will be prematurely debated enough and meet its natural death."

Modi's supporters claim that Nitish is assuming correctly that there is a transition taking place within the BJP and that Modi will have a prime place at the top.

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Image: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar


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The Modi-supporters in the RSS claim that Nitish Kumar's assumption is that neither the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance nor the BJP-led NDA will be able to form the government of its own after the 2014 elections.

At that time the Third Front which is also called the 'federal front' or 'regional front' will select 'Deve Gowda or I K Gujral' kind of leaders and present them as prime ministerial candidates to the Congress and the BJP. They will ask for NDA or UPA support depending on the situation and the numbers then.

Nitish Kumar considers himself as one of the candidates fit to be prime minister, says a senior saffron leader who is briefing the press relentlessly on the issue.

Nitsh Kumar's interview to The Economic Times where he drew the parameters for the BJP to select its prime ministerial candidate was a sharp attack.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi


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The RSS has risen to attack Nitish Kumar challenging his definition of secularism. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat refuted Nitish Kumar's arguments on Tuesday.

Ram Madhav, a member of the RSS national executive, says, "Our leader Mohan Bhagwat has stated the RSS's ideological position that secularism and Hindutva are not contradicting terms. He has not made any comments on any individual."

But while attacking Nitish Kumar, the Modi-supporters have conveniently taken advantage of the grey areas and dubbed Bhagwat's statements to suggest that the 'RSS supports Modi'.


Image: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat


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