Modi versus Dynasty: Two Sides, Same Coin? by Rajinder Puri SignUp

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Modi versus Dynasty: Two Sides, Same Coin?
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

Never has so much partisan passion been spent on a general election campaign. But readers are advised to read the following facts unemotionally and with detachment and then decide whether it is worth losing too much sleep over election results.

It is common knowledge that the closest confidant of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her most powerful adviser in the party is Mr. Ahmed Patel. What are Mr. Patel’s relations with fellow Gujarati Mr. Narendra Modi? In the last Rajya Sabha election Mr. Modi chose not to put up a candidate against Mr. Patel to allow him uncontested entry into parliament. Mr. Patel reciprocated to help the Gujarat government by interceding with the Union cabinet in order to lift the duty on import of cotton badly needed by the state government.

Mr. Patel’s political protégé Miss Asifa Khan, personally inducted into politics and groomed by him, was made in charge of the women’s wing of the Congress in Gujarat. Miss Khan hails from Mr. Patel’s own constituency. In October 2012 Miss Khan inexplicably and suddenly joined the BJP to emerge as its prominent Muslim face and spokesperson on national television. Why did she make the switch? She explained that because a large number of Muslims were disillusioned with the Congress she decided to join BJP? Did anyone mediate to help her make the change? No, she said, she directly approached Mr. Modi who gave her immediate audience and promptly recruited her. Could Mr. Patel have telephoned Mr. Modi earlier? Make a guess.

Mr. Modi’s closest aide, criminally charged and presently on bail, Mr. Amit Shah, was appointed by Mr. Modi to oversee the general election in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. When the time came for selecting BJP candidates in the prestigious seats of Rae Bareily and Amethi to contest Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi respectively, whom did Mr. Shah choose? He shot down the candidature of Miss Uma Bharati in Rae Bareily who could have posed a serious challenge to Mrs. Gandhi. Instead a local BJP lawyer was selected. Lest the message of this move did not sink into the minds of BJP voters, a prominent local RSS ideologue and former district president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Mr. SS Mishra, exhorted BJP members to support Mrs. Gandhi. He reportedly urged: “Why should we be bothered with outsiders when we have our own Soniaji?” In Amethi Mr. Shah decided to field Miss Smriti Irani, a close confidant of Mr. Modi. This is expected to blunt the strong challenge that was being offered by AAP candidate Mr. Kumar Vishwas by effectively dividing the anti-Congress vote. To counter this Mr. Vishwas made the astonishing statement that he had earlier voted for the BJP and was a great admirer of the RSS. It was an obvious attempt to win back the anti-Congress pro-BJP vote.

In a campaign speech Mr. Modi made a casual passing reference to Mr. Robert Vadra’s land deals. This was to comply with a party decision to make corruption by the Gandhi family a big campaign issue. After Mr. Modi’s casual reference to Mr. Vadra, Miss Uma Bharati, who had publicly aired her displeasure over being denied a chance to contest Mrs. Gandhi in Rae Bareily due to Mr. Amit Shah, made a public statement that if BJP formed the government Mr. Robert Vadra would be jailed. Anti- Robert Vadra statements were echoed by other BJP leaders. It was then that Mr. Modi in a TV interview went out of the way to assure voters that if he became PM there would be no witch-hunt against Mr. Vadra. Is it without significance that immediately thereafter to neutralize this olive branch to the Dynasty Mr. Arun Jaitley and Mr. Nitin Gadkari launched frontal attacks against Mr. Robert Vadra? Are Mr. Modi and BJP on the same page?

It was widely expected that Mr. Subramaniam Swamy would be fielded from Delhi. He was an obvious choice but not made a candidate. Had the irrepressible Mr. Swamy been allowed to contest he would undoubtedly have made his entire campaign focused on corruption with special emphasis on certain members of the Dynasty. But Mr. Amit Shah’s poll agenda was quite the opposite. He has successfully diverted attention from corruption and made communal polarization the centrepiece of the poll campaign. Does that explain Mr. Swamy’s glaring omission from the list of poll candidates?

Other several strange coincidences suggesting convenient accommodation between the Modi team and the Congress Dynasty can be summoned. If a silent collusion exists what might be the deal? The Congress leaders seem to be reconciled to losing office. Would they not seek assurance for a quid pro quo to protect corruption by their leaders? Is there dearth of corruption cases including the Commonwealth Games scam, the 2G scam, Coalgate scam and other scams awaiting impartial investigation? Does not Mr. Modi’s unprovoked assurance of not initiating a witch-hunt against Mr. Vadra convey a message? Let readers connect the dots and draw their own picture. Let them then decide whether it is worth getting too excited about the prospects of change if Mr. Modi becomes PM. The only change might be getting more of the same.

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Comments on this Article

Comment Dear Rajinder-ji, your columns don't give much hope to cynics. I agree BJP should have focused on corruption and governance rather than the communal rants that we are seeing these days, in addition to colluding with the Congress to protect individual interests.

And with all the parties fielding candidates with criminal records (BJP leading in this domain too, unfortunately) my expectations are already quite low even before the new government comes to power.


04/22/2014 22:57 PM

Comment Sir,

I would like to see this 'silent collusion' from the angle of 'compulsions'.

One can take load only to the level of strength one has.

Only time will proove whether this is being done for personal gains or national gains

Not excited about Modi's prospects, however in democracy voters need to choose between the 'availables', Modi is the best choice among availables, at least we will have a strong government if not corruption free.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
04/21/2014 09:07 AM

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