Keshubhai’s Prospects! by Rajinder Puri SignUp

In Focus

Photo Essays


Random Thoughts

Our Heritage


Society & Lifestyle


Creative Writings

Book Reviews
Literary Shelf
Analysis Share This Page
Keshubhai’s Prospects!
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

Events are moving on course in Gujarat . Immediately after Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi bullied BJP President Mr. Nitin Gadkari at the party’s Mumbai meeting and compelled him to divest Mr. Sanjay Joshi of all responsibilities in the party, it was pointed out in these columns that Mr. Modi might be inviting a decline of fortunes.

The positive gains emanating from his popularity in his state due to efficient administration could be offset by arrogance and failure to accommodate rivals within the party. Attention was drawn to the potential trouble that could arise from the exertions of former Chief Minister Mr. Keshubhai Patel and other party dissidents in the Gujarat BJP. 

Mr. Keshubhai has quit the BJP and formed his own party. Other disgruntled elements ranged against Mr. Modi such as Mr. Kashiram Rana have joined him. An earlier splinter group led by Mr. Gordhan Zadaphia will also join him. It will not surprise if eventually Mr. Shankarsinh Vaghela a former BJP stalwart who defected to Congress and now heads that party’s Gujarat unit might also quit Congress and join forces. Mr. Vaghela has already expressed resentment over the manner in which the Congress is approaching the assembly poll scheduled for December. Mr. Vaghela, also a former BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat, is a staunch opponent of Mr. Modi.

So what are the poll prospects in Gujarat ?

Much will depend upon how the RSS cadres in the state respond. The manner in which the BJP central leadership could not respond to Mr. Patel’s complaints and had earlier meekly allowed the humiliation of party loyalist Mr. Sanjay Joshi suggests that the RSS advised Mr. Gadkari to play ball with Mr. Modi. Modi is too powerful within the Sangh Parivar’s own ranks to allow immediate rebuff. Also, the RSS would in no way like to lose the crucial Gujarat state to Congress. Mr. Modi became the proverbial fishbone stuck in the RSS gullet. He could not be swallowed and he could not be ejected. That is why it appears that a calibrated approach might be attempted.

Ideally the RSS would like a poll result which does not outright defeat Mr. Modi but weakens him sufficiently to compel his rapprochement with former rivals. 
It had been written on May 31, 2012:

“Will the Keshubhai group succeed in defeating Modi? Very likely not. But will it succeed in derailing him to significantly reduce his majority? Very likely it will. That is what would most suit the RSS. Without losing grip of the Gujarat government it would strive for weakening Modi to the extent of compelling him to accommodate opponents.”

What chances does Mr. Keshubhai have of achieving this scenario?

Much will depend upon how the new party maps out its strategy. Mr. Keshubhai is the most influential leader of the powerful Patel community and also heads affairs of the Somnath Temple.  The Muslim community despite Mr. Modi’s strenuous efforts to win it over has not yet been convinced. The Congress appears incapable of denting Mr. Modi. In the prevailing context Mr. Keshubhai does not appear to be an unattractive option for the Muslims. Were he to adopt an imaginative agenda he could conceivably forge a formidable Patel-Muslim alliance that could help him overtake Congress. The key to the new party’s future might well be its success in approaching the minorities. A spectacular breakthrough in reaching out to the minorities might even deny BJP absolute majority. That is the aspect which needs to be watched in the days before the polls.   

Share This:
More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri
Top | Analysis
Views: 2655      Comments: 8

Comments on this Article

Comment earlier I had said 'east is east west is west twin shall never meet.
Congress and keshubhai shall never meet. Shankar singh Vaghella is
unwanted guest in Congress.It is internal strife that is eating BJP/NDA
We have learnt lesson>>united we stand divided we fall. Keshubhai
will be wise to hit Congress to save and serve BJP/NDA. Patels will
never want Congress in Gujarat. (Sardar Patel Vallabhabhai). Congress
called Modi mota ka sodaghar. And we know the result. Keshubhai is old. He should retire but be active to guide Modi. Modi wants power
and knows how to retain it. He has patels in his ministry. He will give
respect to Keshubhai and patels (Modi is proud of Sardar Patel) if
Keshubhai gives a slightest indication of retiring. He then will become
a King Maker. BJP/NDA will be pleased. Sudhir Parikh of Gujarat Times
should come forward to bring old and young together. He will win as he
has always done. Modi goes to Somnath Temple who trustee is Keshubhai. Both will pray together Somnath, the symbol of Gujarat.
There will be unity and peace. Finally march forward together to Delhi

pranlal sheth
08/08/2012 04:01 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

Recently, while travelling in Gujarat I lost mobile phone. I went to nearest police station to file a complaint. One officer mocked that I could not keep my mobile safe so what else can be expected from a grown up, whereas the other policeman initially tried to convince not to file a complaint but finally reluctantly registered s non-FIR complaint that took 1.5 hrs to complete !

This describes state of an important official machinery (police) in Gujarat. So, I know that not everything is excelling in Gujarat. And if Modi becomes the prime minister, then too I am not having dreams of spectacular changes in Indian administration.

But, still we cannot equate it to state of administration in congress rules states. For example, I have lost another mobile phone a few years back (actually both were stolen) in Maharashtra. I better not describe the ugly experience of my presence into the police station there. 'Hopeless' may be a polite word for the situation I observed.

People admire Modi not because he has established a spotless system (which is still a dream), but because of the right and meanigful strategic actions taken, because of a fair administration that he has provided in a corrupt Indian systems, and so on.

I am not blind admirer of Modi (supporter is not a right word as I am not a voter of Gujarat state), but certainly he belongs to a different class in which we have very few politicians left.

The point I wanted to raise is - we put Keshubhai Patel, Vaghela, MPs and MLAs from congress and Modi, all in the same bucket.

Isn't it fair to compare the effect on aam aadmi in Gujarat if Keshubhai Patel comes to power, or even if Modi's power is diluted ?

Why can't we have an analysis, analyzing a situation where Modi is replaced by an average leader from the current breed of politicians in India.

Had we provided such analysis to public in 2003 about Vajpayee government, India would not have been in the mess and the crisis it is currently facing !

I don't think such an analysis will necessarily mean to please wholesale supporter of good leaders, it will still be a fair and unbiased analysis.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
08/07/2012 15:22 PM

Comment People should read more carefully than they do. I have suggested that RSS would like a situation in which Modi and Kreshubhai are forced to make up and form a coalition government. Nowhere have I suggested that RSS would succeed. I have said that if Keshubhai obtains Muslim support his tally will increase. Nowhere have I suggested that Modi will cease to become Chief Minister. Nowhere have I suggested that Congress has a chance. Nowhere have I suggested that Keshubhai and Congress will get together. Modi's supporters are pathetic. They cannot countenance any analysis that does not please them wholesale. Such support will harm Modi more than help him.

my word
08/07/2012 09:46 AM

Comment Sitting in Canada, reading the daily Indian newspapers on Internet, I deduce that amongst the 1.2 billion Indians, they can't find even a handful of young people to lead the Nation.

The young leaders of USA, Canada, Britain, Russia,Brazil, Thailand etc offer a stark contrast to the tired old politicians in India, whose only goal seems to retain or acquire power at any cost.

Two bright stars of India seem to be Narendra Modi, who has the guts and ability to administer Gujarat, and Baba Ramdev who is focussed on bringing the black money back to India. Alas, there are many forces hell bent upon destroying these two men.

Paul Sayal
08/07/2012 09:34 AM

Comment Mr. Rajinder puri has got it completely wrong this time. Consider this scenario; if Modi is able to prove his majority that means whatever rival politician in the party or in other party say about his untouchability is wrong. He will come out as undisputable leader in BJP and in India. Regarding Muslims, it has already been in media that Gujrati muslims are the most prosperous among their community in India. Modi's convincing win will give chance to muslims in other parts of India to rethink their strategy. Indians are sick and tired of corrupt and ordinary politicians. They need visionary and tough politician, and if India has to rise, than Modi should be PM after 2014.
Actually Keshubhai's forming a political party is a boon to Modi. He can tell people how old and inefficient politicians, just to grab power can go to any extent. Keshubhai had his chances and it's time for him to retire and help guide new politicians.

kut Kuti
08/07/2012 09:02 AM

Comment Mr. Puri's analysis is incomplete, even worth the name. I have been telling that BJP will loose only because its strife. Keshubhai may prevail but it looks impossible that he forms government. Congress will be doing a mistake to join hands with him. If congress and Keshubhai join hands, they will not harm Modi. On the contrary Modi will get stronger. Keshubhai is now full of jealous of Modi. Congress has not cared Gujarat. The day Sonia called Modi maut ka sodagar, Gujarat has completely known psyche of Congress and its president. Keshubhai joining hands with Congress will in no way mar the prospects of Modi. In 2014 Modi will get enough votes for BJP to retain him as Chief Minister. If he does not get enough seats in Vidhan Sabha and Congress plus Keshubhai or Keshubhai plus Congress combine forms the ministry, how many days will it last? Modi as opposition leader and Gujarat after/for him. The situation will come when Patels for Keshubhai will leave him as did the patels left Chimanbhai Patel in Nav Nirman time. Congress will not allow Keshubhai to work for Gujarat. Jealousy of Modi will not take him far. SO?

pranlal sheth
08/07/2012 07:58 AM

Comment Keshubhai was a spectacular failure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, so was Shankarsingh Vaghela. If the voters understand who will serve their as well as the state's interest better they will spectacularly reject both of them and elect Modi with a good, stable majority.
One sometimes wonders why the psephologists don't get tired of insinuating that it is the Muslim minority that will decide the outcome of any election, Assembly or Lok Sabha.

08/07/2012 03:40 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

Could you please also provide an insight - can Keshubhai Patel deliver as efficient administration (with current Indian standards) & good governance as Modi does.

I think, by and large there is no cast & communities in agenda in Gujarat polls. Why should we desire certain parties to attract votes from certain communities ? Aren't we justifying communalism (in right sense) ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
08/07/2012 01:45 AM

Name *
Email ID
 (will not be published)
Comment *
Verification Code*
Can't read? Reload
Please fill the above code for verification.
1999-2022 All Rights Reserved
No part of this Internet site may be reproduced without prior written permission of the copyright holder