Home Articles With Jaswant’s re-entry Modi’s PM hopes appear damaged

With Jaswant’s re-entry Modi’s PM hopes appear damaged

Advani, Modi closeted together on Monday in Ahmedabad after Jaswant Singh’s re-entry in BJP; political observers say it is a bid to placate Modi angry with Singh’s re-entry.

By TwoCircles.net staff writer

Ahmedabad: One-to-one meeting between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and senior party leader L K Advani here on Monday is being interpreted as a bid by the party leadership to placate Modi reportedly feeling unhappy with the re-induction of Jaswant Singh in the saffron party.

Advani was here in connection with a meeting of the Somnath Temple Trust. However, he had a separate one-to-one meeting with Modi in the Circuit House. This was interpreted by political observers as an effort on the part of BJP leadership to cool down the tempers of Modi angry with Singh’s re-entry in the party. Political observers say that relations between Modi and Singh need to be watched carefully as it has the potential to cause major upheaval in the party with both Singh and Modi being party’s stalwarts in their own right.

Time for a re-think?: Narendra Modi in Bihar in June 2010 [TCN Photo: Mudassir Rizwan]

When Singh was expelled from the party in August 2009 for his book titled `Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence’’, the Modi-ruled Gujarat had imposed a ban on it in the state. The ban was later on lifted by the Gujarat high court.

The state government had taken strong objection to certain references in the book particularly with regard to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held in high esteem by Gujaratis.

Singh’s book had held Patel and Nehru responsible for conceding Pakistan to Jinnah helped by the British.

In this background, return of Singh is being watched with curiosity in Gujarat and his relationship with Modi. Singh was given a warm welcome by party chief Nitin Gadkari and also L K Advani at a function in Delhi two days ago.

Modi has been projected as party’s prime ministerial candidate time and again, albeit in a subtle way by industrialists having received largesse from him as also by a section of the party leadership. Despite having been snubbed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after Modi’s controversial advertisements in Bihar newspapers recently, Modi’s position remains unchallenged in the party.

With Jaswant Singh’s re-entry, political analysts say, Modi will have no chance of becoming prime minister even if the saffron party gets majority in the next Lok Sabha elections. Despite being in the BJP, Singh carries a liberal image and may be more acceptable than any one else to party allies while Modi with a Hindutva hardline image is not palatable to BJP’s allies like Nitish Kumar.

With his book on Jinnah with harsh criticism of Patel, Singh has demonstrated to the world that he does not blindly follow the political ideology of the BJP and will be able to chart his own independent course as and when the situation demands from him. If Singh is projected as the future prime minister of BJP, political analysts say he can fetch more friends from among the regional parties whose support has become significant to form the government at the centre when no single party is able to get absolute majority under the change political situations. But this advantage is not with Modi.

Moreover, poor human rights record of Modi during the last nine years rule in Gujarat has earned international condemnation for him. He has also been declared as persona non grata by the European Union and US has also denied him visa on similar grounds. A delegation of German MPs on a visit to Gujarat in April this year had justified EU’s ban on Modi’s entry in European Union countries.

But with Modi’s current position in the party with a group backing him, the party wants to keep him in good humour. But Modi known to have never reconciled with his political rivals, the future developments in the saffron party would be worth watching.