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Why BJP is the loser in the Modi-Gadkari war

Last updated on: May 24, 2012 23:56 IST

Why BJP is a loser in the Modi-Gadkari war


Sheela Bhatt

Narendra Modi may have won his battle with Nitin Gadkari in forcing Sanjay Joshi to quit the BJP national executive. But the BJP's political force has been diminished as personalities overtook issues, says Sheela Bhatt

It is absolutely clear that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has won and Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari and the party has lost as Sanjay Joshi was forced to resign from the BJP national executive.

Today, Modi, the political leader, has emerged stronger and the BJP's political force has been diminished as personalities overtook issues.

In such a small move of pitting himself against Joshi and winning the round, Modi has shown that how his party's other leaders -- including L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj -- are politically not potent enough to take him head on.

Nitin Gadkari will be smarting for a long time to come.

This reality has come to the surface in a cruel and crude way.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi arrives to attend the BJP national executive meeting in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salvi


Gadkari has led the lobby against Modi

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 Narendra Modi is important, in Gujarat and at the national level, for the saffron crowd.

If that is not so, then why would Nitin Gadkari agree to Modi's demand when more than 200 mediapersons were watching?

Modi has tried to prove, through the games he played against Sanjay Joshi, that he will fight tooth and nail for his place in New Delhi.

So insecure is Modi that he will not even let off a low-profile leader like Joshi easily.

Modi's supporters insist that Joshi is not small fry. He is the manifestation of the 'anti-Modi' forces within the BJP who want to ensure that Modi remains the 'communal face' of India.

This lobby, Modi thinks, is out to cut him to size, and they must be fought ruthlessly.

For sometime, Gadkari has led the lobby against Modi because it enhances his chances to not only lead the BJP once more, but even to claim the nomination from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to project him as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

That is Gadkari's politics. Modi has taught him how skewed and complex his task is.

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Image: Narendra Modi will fight tooth and nail for his place in New Delhi, says Sheela Bhatt

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How Modi checkmated Gadkari, Joshi

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 Narendra Modi had to act. It is pure politics, nothing less, nothing more for Modi.

He had to show Nitin Gadkari where he stands in the eyes of the saffron cadre.

In Mumbai on Thursday, Gadkari looked naive (that was what exactly Modi wanted to achieve!) before the cameras when he said that he had spoken to Modi.

Modi, he said, had assured him that he would arrive in Mumbai by the afternoon!

Modi loves belittling people, particularly those who try to belittle him.

Gadkari brought in Sanjay Joshi from the wilderness to assist his broader plan to capture the BJP and get ready for the biggest battle in 2014.

In December 2005, in Mumbai, Joshi had fallen from grace when during a national executive session a sex CD appeared which allegedly showed Joshi in a comprising position with a woman from Gujarat.

When Joshi was re-inducted into the party and in the national executive, Modi took strong objection.

Modi, reportedly, sent RSS leaders in Nagpur enough evidence to prove that the Joshi CD was not morphed, it was alleged that Joshi had tried to bribe forensic experts and how he had violated the RSS charter of morality. He was a pracharak; he should not just be unmarried, but celibate too.

If the RSS had found a sex CD involving any other leader or even himself, Modi argued, would they have spared him?

Modi's supporters believe the RSS, other BJP leaders and India's secular brigade would have finished Modi in no time had such an incident occurred.

Why then the double standards for Joshi, his supporters asked. Why were the RSS rules bent to favour Joshi?

Joshi denied Modi's charges and alleged that the Modi camp was behind the sting operation and the CDs were distributed with the alleged assistance off Modi confidante Amit Shah, Gujarat's former minister of state for home.  These charges have been denied and not yet proven.

Modi's men told RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that who created the CD was not as important, what was more important was whether the CD was genuine.

Through his intermediaries Modi insisted that Joshi's re-induction into the BJP was not permissable because the RSS and the BJP must have some moral norms and follow it.

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Image: BJP President Nitin Gadkari with L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley at the Mumbai meet
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

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Modi found Joshi a man of intrigues

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 The Joshi CD or Joshi are not Modi's real targets. He wants to prove that the anti-Modi lobby cannot get away with the help of the RSS leaders' blessings.

The battle between Gadkari and Modi has now entered a new phase.

Under the surface, the Gujarati's historical apprehensions about the Peshwas' Brahminical rule is also playing its role on Modi's mind, argues a senior journalist who has studied the former Maharashtrian rulers of Gujarat.

Modi has always found Joshi, a Brahmin from Maharashtra, a man of intrigues while Joshi finds Modi an absolute autocrat unsuitable to run a democratic political party.

Modi's high-handed approach was first challenged by Joshi when Modi was pitching himself against then chief minister Keshubhai Patel.

Joshi and Gadkari hail from Nagpur and are Brahmins.

As Atal Bihari Vajpayee once used former minister Haren Pandya against him, Modi sees Gadkari using Joshi in the same role.

Modi, an OBC, is fighting back against the so-called Vajpayeeish Brahminical qualities of Joshi and even the RSS leadership.

On Thursday, the signal went from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to Mumbai, Maharashtra, that the times have changed.

Narendra Modi has declared: History must change to accommodate me.

And nobody can take a bet on who will be the winner.

The BJP, of course, is the loser.

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Image: BJP leader Sanjay Joshi

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