The reports in the media about the veteran BJP leader LK Advani going to skip party’s “Hunker” rally at Patna, to be held on October 27, where BJP’s Prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be the star speaker, has given rise to various speculations. In politics, particularly in the electoral politics what is more important is what the people at large perceive about an action or a move by a leader and a party than the real intent of the leader or the party behind that move or action.LK Advani deciding not to participate in the mega rally of the party in Bihar can be construed as the veteran leader still not fully reconciled to projection of Modi as BJP’s candidate for the office of the Prime Minister in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and his still having some reservations about the decision taken by the party. It is particularly so in the backdrop of media widely reporting about Advani’s cold response to Narendra Modi at party’s Bhopal rally, where Advani was shown as looking the other side, rather responding warmly to Modi’s gesture of respect towards him, by bending to touch Advani’s feet.
In the bid to play down Advani’s skipping the Patna rally, which besides Modi, party president Raj Nath Singh and the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley is also going to address, the BJP sources have described the same as the party strategy. This explanation by the party can be construed as the party still keeping the option open for some sort of understanding with its former ally, JDU and particularly the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Since, Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders will be taking head on the Bihar Chief Minister and the JDU, in their Patna rally, declaring no hold barred war on Nitish and his government in Bihar, the party wants LK Advani to be insolated from open confrontation with Nitish Kumar. Advani is still believed in people perception of having soft corner for Nitish Kumar and the former alliance partner of the BJP, the JDU. The latter had parted company with BJP as a part of NDA for 17 long years, on account of JDU’s open and strong opposition to projection of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi as the NDA’s main face in the 2014 elections, with BJP appointing Modi as Chairman of its election complain committee, at party’s conclave in Goa. After that much water has flown in all the rivers in the country. The BJP and JDU have become bitter critic of each other, declaring all out war on each other. The BJP which was a partner in Nitish led government in Bihar, has lately been sharply criticizing the policies and working of Nitish government, after all its minister in Bihar were removed from the government.
The JDU in general and Nitish Kumar in particular are coming closer to the Congress. For the party BJP is the main enemy now rather than the Congress. While responding favorably to the feelers thrown by the Congress and UPA government in the Center, JDU is also responding warmly to the moves for a joint anti BJP and non Congress front of some parties, with talks of forming a third front after 2014 elections. In the light of these developments, any show of lurking hope with any BJP leaders of a winning back JDU to its side and for that reason betraying any soft corner for Nitish Kumar and JDU is detrimental for the BJP. The popularity graft of Narendra Modi has since reached a new crescendo, even in those parts of the country, where BJP as a party has a marginal presence. The Modi impact going to have its affect on general elections in 2014 as well as to a great extent in the assembly elections in 4 states towards the end of this year is acknowledged not only by the independent and objective observers, but even by the opponents of the BJP and more so of the person of Modi. The J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s candid admission about Modi’s impact in the forthcoming elections should be an eye opener for those who are adopting ostrich like attitude. Omar Abdullah has spoken of Modi impact discernible even in Jammu region, with party cadres fully galvanized after Modi being declared as the BJP and NDAs candidate for the office of prime minister after 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In the backdrop of this scenario any reservation with any leader of BJP over the matter and his conveying an impression of the party keeping the option open for any other leader to emerge as a dark horse after the elections to replace Modi, in case the party with its committed allies falls short of the magic figure of 272 only weakens the party’s firm resolve and faith in the victory under Modi’s leadership. It is decisiveness and hopefulness that pays in the elections. The fence sitters too are opt to bet on the expected winning horse.If the BJP fails to achieve its target in 2014 elections, the blame will fall more on indecisiveness and reservations with some of its top leaders rather than the lack of public support to Narendar’s Modi candidature, as a game changer.