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Decoding Power Struggle in BJP!
by Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

India’s major opposition party is in crisis. It desperately needs competent conflict management. To achieve that, first the forces in conflict need to be recognized. Their respective aims require understanding. Such speculation related to the internal affairs of a party may be considered inappropriate. But the uninhibited manner in which the protagonists inside the party air their views in public invites such speculation.

There are three discernable poles of power and influence in the BJP. Party President Mr. Nitin Gadkari backed by the RSS represents one pole. Mr. LK Advani with the parliamentary party behind him represents the second pole. Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who has caught the imagination of the party cadres represents the third pole. The aims of each pole needs to be decoded as well as how these are in conflict with the aims of rival poles.

Mr. Narendra Modi is the front runner to become the prime ministerial candidate of the party in 2014. Earlier the RSS and its nominated party president Mr. Gadkari were perceived to be in opposition to Mr. Modi. But the groundswell of support for Mr. Modi in Gujarat before the forthcoming assembly polls and his growing popularity among RSS cadres across the nation compelled rethinking. The attacks against Mr. Gadkari led to total RSS capitulation. Now there is no conflict between the RSS plus Mr. Gadkari on the one hand and Mr. Modi on the other. The RSS would like to continue Mr. Gadkari in his post as party president for a second term. That would suit Mr. Modi because a weakened Mr. Gadkari would perforce cooperate with him after the Gujarat assembly election.

The potential threat to Mr. Modi’s ambitions comes from Mr. LK Advani. The latter would be a formidable prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. Apart from his stature and experience that commands respect within the BJP he commands greater support than Mr. Modi from the NDA allies. But the RSS is not enamoured of Mr. Advani. He is too tall a leader to have in the past acted as obediently as Mr. Gadkari did. For Mr. Advani to strategically position himself for 2014 he would have to become the BJP President by replacing Mr. Gadkari for the next presidential term. That is why the concerted attacks against Mr. Gadkari have been mounted by Mr. Jethmalani and others within the BJP. Contrary to what a senior RSS leader had logged on to his blog on the Internet the attacks against Mr. Gadkari were not launched to serve Mr. Modi but Mr. Advani. This, then, is the broad power configuration that exists within the BJP at present.

Will it be resolved?

It can be resolved only if all three protagonists agree to lower their respective aspirations to achieve a compromise. Mr. Gadkari would have to forego his second term as party president and settle for a strong position within the party and later within the parliamentary party after the 2014 election. Mr. Modi would have to keep an open mind on his prime ministerial ambition that may or may not be realized immediately after the next general election. Mr. Advani must satisfy himself as BJP President and NDA Chairman and be prepared if necessary to forego his prime ministerial ambitions in favour of Mr. Modi. The final decision would rest on the results of the next general election. The number of seats won by the BJP by itself and by the NDA in total would in the natural course determine who, if anyone at all from within the NDA can become Prime Minister after 2014.

The unseemly infighting presently witnessed in the BJP is self-destructive and premature. If BJP leaders fail to summon requisite restraint and discipline now the price they may have to pay later could prove fatal. Right now it is anybody’s guess what might happen.

More by :  Rajinder Puri
Views: 742
Article Comment Additionally,

any idea why 'the most powerful newschannel' is 'meherban' on the 'prime prime ministerial candidate' now a days ?
e.g. posting Sri Lankan woman picture as political campaign by the 'largest parliamentarian party' against the 'prime prime ministerial candidate' was highlighted way beyond its proportion.

The same 'most powerful newschannel' took lead in exposing Ghatkari while saving brand BJP at the same time.

Going by the theory proposed in this article, 'the most powerful newschannel' must be working on behalf of the two leaders fighting against each other !
Article Comment Dear Sir,
If all three lower their aspirations then all three may become loser in absence of one strong commander (all three may be leaders but one of them needs to be super leader)

Who will give up ?

Also, no strong reason provided for believing that Mr. Jethmalani helped Advani rather than Modi. No reason provided - why RSS STILL prefers Ghatkari as the BJP president - afterall they were against corruption publicly before upa1 came to power.
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
Article Comment India is the 'Karma Bhoomi'. Anybody born in India cannot escape the self destructive curse. It all started with the Kuru cousins and the mighty yadahvas destroying themselves due to fratricidal war. Then Kaliyuga has started. Ambhi betrayed Purushothaman to Alexander. Jayachandra betrayed Prithvi Raj to Muhammed Gaur. Mir Jaffer betrayed Mir Kassim to Clive. Ettappn and Thondaman betrayed Kattabomman to East India Company. Pakistan betrayed Bangladesh. Now,BJP betrays India by weakening itself by infighting. May God help us !
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