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This article was first published 11 years ago

Dilli Gupshup: Can the Congress 'tame' Modi?

Last updated on: June 11, 2013 14:52 IST

Image: Sonia Gandhi is worried that the Congress may lose its allies to Narendra Modi.
Photographs: B Mathur/ Reuters (Sonia Gandhi); Amit Dave/ Reuters (Narendra Modi)

What were BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley hiding?

Why does the Madhya Pradesh chief minister need a mediator?

What is Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's latest gaffe?

All this and more in this week's Dilli Gupshup...

Officially, the Congress has sought to underplay Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's official elevation as the BJP's national face.

Privately, its top leaders are deeply apprehensive, fearing the emergence of a 'personality cult' in the 2014 general elections.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi want the Congress think-tank -- comprising Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram; Defence Minister A K AntonySonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel,; All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde -- to come up with a 'strategy' to tame Modi.

Much to the Gandhis' worry, however, no 'game plan' has emerged so far.

The Congress's longest-serving president is particularly worried that the strong 'anti-Congress' feeling seen in the Indira Gandhi era may re-emerge, prompting many regional leaders to join Modi.

Apart from the Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal, Sonia feels regional satraps like Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu could abandon the Congress for the BJP.

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Was this the REAL reason Advani resigned?

Image: BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj share the stage with Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Courtesy

Sometimes, photographs and videos can be a bit too revealing.

Take, for example, certain images that have emerged from the recent BJP conclave in Goa.

BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley looked sober, almost long-faced, when they stepped out to announce that Narendra Modi would chair the party's campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The underlying message, if one went by their expressions, seemed to be that their hand was forced by the party cadres.

Unfortunately for the three leaders, the photographs and videos taken when Modi was crowned at the BJP national executive tell a different story.

Here, the trio appear jubilant, grinning from ear to ear, as they hug and felicitate Modi.

The rest of the BJP leadership is actually seen queueing up to congratulate the Gujarat chief minister.

It could be, say those in the know, that the BJP leadership did not expect to find these pictures and videos in general circulation.

They add that these images were released by the Modi camp because television cameras and still photographers were not allowed inside the BJP meet.

What we'd like to know is: Why did Swaraj, Singh and Jaitley look so grim during the official announcement about Modi's elevation? Were they trying to hide their real feelings from a certain disgruntled senior BJP leader?

Please click on NEXT to find out why Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is on the lookout for a mediator...

Shivraj Singh Chauhan's tightrope walk...

Image: Shivraj Singh Chauhan in deep discussion with Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Courtesy

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is keen to mend fences with his Gujarat counterpart.

But Chauhan's task is bit tricky as he does not want to slight veteran BJP leader L K Advani.

Chauhan was among those who thanked Advani while welcoming Modi's appointment.

He reportedly got feedback that his remarks have not gone down well with a section of the BJP.

Chauhan, last heard, was on the lookout for a mediator....

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Image: BJP General Secretary Amit Shah is Narendra Modi's trusted aide.
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai is a low-key personality... so low-key, in fact, that he often had to introduce himself at the party's national executive meet in Goa.

On few occasions, he was even told that the BJP's Uttar Pradesh head was Narendra Modi's close aide and high-profile BJP general secretary, Amit Shah.

It has left poor Bajpai fearing he will soon be replaced.

Please click on NEXT to find out why Sushil Kumar Shinde finds himself in trouble once again...

Shinde is in trouble... once again

Image: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde went ballistic against Pakistan, where Nawaz Sharif was recently anointed as prime minister.
Photographs: Reuters (Sushil Kumar Shinde); Mohsin Raza/ Reuters (Nawaz Sharif)

India's Union home minister seems to find it very difficult to keep his foot out of his mouth.

At a recently held meeting on internal security, Sushil Kumar Shinde went ballistic against Pakistan, accusing it of fomenting trouble.

His remarks reportedly took the ministry of external affairs by surprise.

South Block mandarins wonder why Shinde was so hawkish about Pakistan when there was no immediate provocation.

In diplomatic terms, too, attacking Pakistan when a new political regime is taking over is not considered prudent.

Shinde's indiscretion has apparently become the latest headache for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.