At his Grand nomination gala at Varanasi, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi all of a sudden chose to interact with the media. The BJP workers, flooded the holly city from across the country, had put up a great show making it impossible for the media to not give continuous break-free coverage.
All the news channels, all of them gave a big coverage. In the midst of all of this Modi chose to interact with the media and he said, “it is for the first time that NDA has had a pre-poll alliance with almost 30 parties”. Yes, a whopping 30!
Suddenly, all the news channels switched over to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who had just come out of the polling booth after casting his vote in Assam. On being asked, the Prime Minister rubbished that there is anything called Modi wave in the country and said, if any, it is just created by the media.
To sum it up, the NDA is contesting in all of the 543 seats and in the 15th Lok Sabha (2009), it had won only 144 of these 543 seats.
The Prime Minister moved on to continue with his schedule and the cameras were then over to Narendra Modi in Varanasi, for an uninterrupted coverage, where he boasted that he hasn’t come to Varanasi himself but Ganga Maiya has called him.
Now here we have these two gentlemen giving completely contradictory statements – our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who has never been proven wrong over anything, whose statements are measured and very well informed. Then we have the Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP, who has never been proven correct on anything, whose statements are miscalculated and misinformed. Whom out of these two should we trust?
Since the media insists so much and the man himself wants us to be convinced – for once let us ride the Modi wave. Below is the table with the complete information on the NDA in its current form.
It is to note that 7 out of these 29 parties are contesting with zero seats, 10 of them are contesting with 1 seat each, 4 parties are contesting with 2 – 5 seats, 4 of them are contesting with 6 – 10 and only 4 parties are contesting with more than 10 seats.
To sum it up, the NDA is contesting in all of the 543 seats and in the 15th Lok Sabha (2009), it had won only 144 of these 543 seats. So if we are to believe that the NDA is winning the ongoing election, how relevant is it to presume that all of these parties are doubling the tally of 144? That too when the BJP is contesting in 423 seats, five less than the previous election. It is very important to mention here that the BJP (itself) could not even save deposit in 170 seats out of 428 it had contested in 2009.
The opinion polls suggest that the NDA will get a little over 200 seats. The opinion polls – that have always stood far away from the reality after every election and in fact have been proven exaggerated every time. But then, the ‘Modi Wave’ – didn’t we agree to believe it? For the sake of it, let us believe the opinion polls too. Stretch NDA’s best performance ever, since their inception, they will still hit the road-block at around Approximately 200. Alright, let us give them the benefit of doubt for another 20 seats. Still 52 short of the magic number of 272, to form the Government. So, even if the Modi Wave is for real, the NDA’s previous numbers (144 in the current form) aren’t doubling.
Who all will be the post-poll alliance partners of the NDA then? The NDA would need the support of at least two major gainers from the regional forces. Now, let us name a few prominent regional/ national parties – TMC, BSP, SP, JDU, DMK, YSR Congress, AIADMK, BJD and the new entrant AAP. All of these parties have already rejected the idea of Modi and have contested the election in their region opposing Modi’s polarizing & communal politics. Jayalalitha, who was considered closest to Modi, of all these, in fact tore apart the myth of successful Gujarat Model by comparing it with the successful & real figures of Tamil Nadu Government. So, none of these parties are going to support NDA, post poll, with Modi at the helm. Howsoever opportunist you want to call them, they won’t, as all of these parties are going for Assembly elections in their respective states within maximum three more years and they would want to keep their vote base intact – in order to strengthen their regional positions. However, many of these would be more than willing to support the NDA minus Narendra Modi.
Based on all these probabilities, it can be safely said that Narendra Modi is definitely not becoming the Prime Minister of India. He might be popular on Facebook & Twitter but not amongst the political circles. But then, knowing their love for power and coming across ‘once in a life time opportunity’, the RSS guided BJP won’t let go the chance of forming the next government, if it at all emerges as the single largest party in the Parliament. The RSS/ BJP will conveniently dump Modi and will look for an acceptable face for the post of Prime Minister. Ironically, the leaders in the BJP too are very well aware of this situation but no one wants to talk about it. But let us do. Let’s figure out who the acceptable face would be – if at all NDA gets there.
Arun Jaitley is a popular face but it is being suggested that he is looking at a tough battle in Amritsar and might not win at all. Even if he wins, he doesn’t come from Sangh background and then there are many other senior leaders in the party who would be under consideration. Same is for Sushma Swaraj; she doesn’t belong to the Sangh and more importantly Sushma and Shivraj Chouhan belong to the Advani camp and three of them (including Advani) have opposed Modi or/ and any decision of the party favoring Modi, more than once. They might be popular in the political circles but are not popular among the support-system of the BJP – the RSS and its cadres. So, relatively low chance for three of them too.
We are thus left with only one name – Rajnath Singh. He is the only one who has been quietly working for the party, for himself. Always seen standing in support of Modi, is very close to the RSS, a loyalist of the cadre for doing what they expected him of and recently has been seen getting cozy with the sections of minorities in his Lok Sabha constituency. If at all, I repeat, if at all NDA is forming the next government at the centre, it is very likely we will have another Prime Minister as Singh, Rajnath Singh. That is what precisely Rajnath Singh is working towards. The Singh who is silently wanting to be the King. Perhaps!
At the best we can just presume and only the time will tell who would win the trust of the people of India and who gets their mandate.
Nevertheless, there are things that are happening for sure & are confirmed – as mentioned in the beginning, quoting Shri Modi in Varanasi, he said, “he hasn’t come to Varanasi himself but Ganga Maiya has called him”. I do believe him on this one. Any practicing Hindu with a mild knowledge about the Hinduism can tell you that if you are called to Kashi by the holy power, then you must know that the clock is ticking really fast – the journey is going to end soon, the political journey!
(Gaurav Pandhi is a political trend watcher. Follow him on twitter @GauravPandhi. Views expressed here are entirely his personal and not the views of CNN-IBN and ibnlive)