There is widespread speculation about the identity of the leader within the BJP responsible for spreading rumours against Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh and his son. Reporters are too coy to name anyone. Speculation heightened after a senior columnist of the Indian Express referred to the rumour without naming any individual. Since the columnist was socially close to Mr. Arun Jaitley, and because jealousy over Mr. Rajnath Singh’s position as number two in the cabinet is the motive perceived for the rumours, suspicion among scribes focused on the Finance and Defence Minister. Possibly Mr. Rajnath Singh might entertain similar suspicion. One cautions observers against hasty conclusion.
Whoever might be the conduits within BJP spreading the rumours they would not have dared done it in defiance of BJP President Mr. Amit Shah. These rumours were circulated for over a month. Mr. Shah could not be unaware of them. The question arises that if these rumours were spread with his tacit consent why Mr. Shah allowed it. He could only have done this with the tacit consent if not encouragement of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Why should Mr. Modi possibly have encouraged such rumours?
In spite of his many great qualities Mr. Modi suffers from one weakness. He suffers from insecurity. This is a serious deficiency in any leader and Mr. Modi must rectify it. His position and popularity are unassailable. Why should he feel insecure?
Recall the incident involving Mr. Sanjay Joshi his estranged colleague in the Gujarat BJP. In May 2012 Mr. Modi had called Mr. Gadkari, then BJP President, threatening to boycott the BJP national meeting unless Mr. Joshi was removed from the BJP. Thereupon Mr. Joshi was detached from the BJP executive and Mr. Modi promptly announced his decision to attend the BJP meeting. This extreme reaction provides a clue to Mr. Modi’s attitude. But why feel insecure about Mr. Rajnath Singh? To appreciate it recall the general election campaign. I reproduce what I wrote on May 7, 2014.
“When a TV channel opined that in the event of a hung parliament BJP President Mr. Rajnath Singh could be the dark horse for becoming MP, Mr. Modi’s trusted confidant Mr. Amit Shah heading the UP poll campaign, dramatically diverted the campaign agenda from economic development to communal polarization. This made things difficult for Mr. Rajnath Singh who has substantial Muslim votes in his constituency, Lucknow. It required considerable effort by him to woo Muslim voters. Alas, his seeming success brought fresh troubles… After a Muslim Cleric praised him and compared him to Mr. Vajpayee… Mr. Modi apparently got alarmed... He refused to campaign in Lucknow. Mr. Rajnath Singh thereupon issued a statement that … he… would remain only party president. He invited Mr. Modi to campaign in his constituency. Mr. Modi endorsed Mr. Rajnath Singh on Twitter but did not campaign in Lucknow.”
Do reservations about Mr. Rajnath Singh still persist in Mr. Modi’s mind?