Uttar Pradesh is Narendra Modi’s new frontier


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24 May 2013

 
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Uttar Pradesh is Narendra Modi's new frontier

“This was my last dream… when I die, my body should be wrapped in BJP’s flag” were the immortal words of a tearful Kalyan Singh, when he addressed a mammoth public rally in Lucknow on the occasion of his return back to the party fold. On that day, the pain in the eyes of this “Hindu Hriday Samrat” was clearly visible. It was the pain of a decade of decay in the Hindi heartland, when Hindutva was defeated not by pseudo-secularism but by Mir Jafars from within. A decade that culminated in March 2012, when BJP faced a humiliating defeat despite an undercurrent of support for the party.

Sanjay Joshi, as the master strategist in charge of Uttar Pradesh elections last year, believed a silent undercurrent would power the Bharatiya Janata Party to victory. To be sure, there was an undercurrent of polarisation along Hindu-Muslim faultlines in the largest State of India. But the problem for the BJP was that the undercurrent never transformed into overt support, so the votes never materialised on the day of the polls. Of course, there were last moment internal sabotages in many seats (for the BJP), the support for SP eventually turned into a wave and BSP did not lose much vote share (as Joshi ji hoped). Whatever the reasons, Sanjay Joshi was an unmitigated disaster in Uttar Pradesh.

“I would rather have lucky generals” is one of the illustrious quotes attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous warrior strategist of the 19th century. Sanjay Joshi will go down in Right-Wing history as one of those supremely gifted political strategists with nothing to show in terms of positive results, for luck never seemed to favour him when he needed it the most.

Today the baton of Uttar Pradesh has passed on from one gifted political strategist to another. The difference is stark though, for if the former was an out and out desk analyst, the latter is an organiser who himself has tasted huge victories in Indian elections. If Sanjay Joshi epitomised a backroom operator who was the darling of the faithful cadre, Amit Bhai Shah is an organiser par excellence who can reach out to the votes beyond the faithful.

Uttar Pradesh awaits deliverance

Multiple opinion polls over the last week have suggested a positive swing for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh if LS polls were to be held now. The AC-Neilson poll gives BJP a tally of 23 seats in UP, although it is not clear whether the Modi factor has been accounted for in this survey.

Two very interesting surveys are the ones conducted by C-Voter and LensOnNews, for they try to quantify the Modi impact. Projection of Modi as the leader by the BJP could double the party’s tally from 14 to 29 in UP as per the C-Voter poll. The LensOnNews poll gives a whopping 47 seats to the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi – whereas without a declared leader, the party tally would be limited to 20 seats in the largest Indian State.

Based on these surveys, we can safely assume that the actual BJP tally could be potentially in the range of 30 to 40 in Uttar Pradesh under NaMo’s leadership. The logical question then is why has such an overnight transformation taken place? Is it possible that these surveys have gotten it all wrong? The answers to these questions will give us the picture of UP politics.

» The SP government headed by Akhilesh Yadav is one of the worst in recent memory; there is blatant corruption everywhere, a return to Goondaraj has disappointed even the most ardent Akhilesh fans, outright communalism has angered both Hindus as well as Muslims

» The undercurrents of polarisation have been around in UP for almost 4-5 years now, but the same has never transformed into votes and seats in terms of Hindu counter-reaction because of lack of leadership in the BJP.

» The return of Kalyan Singh to the BJP and projection of Modi as the PM candidate, giving an OBC the first opportunity to lead India can help BJP tap the undercurrents favourably.

» BSP’s base is shrinking with each passing day. The biggest mistake that Kanshi Ram made was to bequeath the entire Dalit movement of UP to one lady. Mayawati is slowly inching towards that political equator of the heartland politics known as ‘spent force’ and that really is the danger for the BSP.

» Baba Ramdev has made a clear shift from supporting the Yadavs in UP Assembly elections to unequivocally backing NaMo’s candidacy for India’s premiership.

» There is a distinct possibility that Narendra Modi may contest from Uttar Pradesh to give fillip to the efforts of state BJP; this act has the potential to turn the entire UP political scene upside down.

Amit Shah, the electoral magician

One of the primary reasons why BJP has failed consistently in UP despite favourable undercurrents and positive political climate is the failure to make a transition from purely Hindutva politics to that of good governance. Today the Hindu vote in India has evolved from a purely identity-based prototype to that of development/aspirational oriented perspective.

Amit Bhai Shah is one of the earliest proponents of development politics as the core of Hindutva. His former constituency of Sarkhej is a prime example of development politics as the subset of the ideological Hindutva. To Amit Bhai’s credit is the fact that he is one of those rare BJP politicians who is intrinsically suspicious of the news media types – a trait which has also rubbed off on Modi. Thus, Shah has managed to remain rooted in political realities and has never been beguiled by media hyperbole.

Shah’s legendary accuracy in judging political currents and predicting electoral outcomes is perhaps his greatest asset. BJP could not have chosen a better manager as the man in charge of the most populous State that sends 80 MPs to the Parliament.

Under Amit Shah’s guidance and with Modi as the icon of aspirational India along with his underlying appeal to the OBC/MBC vote that had deserted the BJP in the last decade, Uttar Pradesh can make the big transition from Mandalised identity politics to development politics. The Hindu vote of UP has possibly never been as charged as today since 1991-92.

Although the Muslim vote is slower in making such a transition, fortunately, it too is moving along in a similar direction. In fact, the Muslim vote of the entire subcontinent is going through a transitional phase in these times of post-Al Qaeda Islamic socio-political renaissance – as evidenced in the recent election in Pakistan.

The usual suspects in the intellectual-media clique are making the same old lazy analysis of terming Modi as a ‘polarising figure’ to explain away his huge popularity. The truth is that India has already made the transition along with Modi towards a new dawn of aspirational realities. The heartland politics of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the final frontiers for Modi to conquer and for ‘secularists’ to cede space.




A story teller and aspiring writer with special interests in Indian electoral politics || Literary Crimes

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  • http://vnseetharam.wordpress.com V.N.Seetharam

    Modi is dynamic and still young enough and time is on his side. To avoid all the confusion and inner turmoils let the BJP agree to present Advani as the PM candidate and Modi as his deputy. this will be a wise move and it would be wise and prudent on Modi’s part to propse such an arrangement. Advani is a tall leader and is a patriot and beyond corruption. Modi is a charismatic and able administrator. Let us all who are interested to see the downfall of the wicked Sonia-Singh duo pray for such an arrangement to save the nation. Let this paper too see treason andurge Rajnath to comply.
    Advani due to his age would gracefully exit paving way for Modi soon. I hope good sense prevails and the unspeakable evil of UPA will be vanquished.
    Is any one listening?

    • Pratap

      Very well said Sir.
      In addition Modi should be given key positions like Agriculture and Industry.
      Let us hope that Golden Era of India will begin with 2014 where the UPA will be whitewashed and in its place a true Indian will come to lead India

      • R Prasad

        Nope, Modi is the best all rounder. He knows and manages leaders (or ministers). In Gujarat, he did not just developed Agriculture and Industry, but achieved all round development including law and order (no riots and least crimes), tourism, education, technology and so on. Therefore, he is best suited for PM. And I am very sure that most of BJP supporters from party workers to ideological allies to online geeks, all support Modi only as PM. Because, he is the only leader in the country who inspires all.

        It is up to BJP, whether they declare Modi as PM and win 2014 elections or announce Advani and lose again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248946121 Ssdinesh Gopal

      Yes sir Advaniji is the top most leader, no doubt. but the mood of the people is tilted towards Modiji. advaniji can very well guide modiji. every one should forgo ego and work for national interest and for national interest alone…..

    • PR Reddy

      Not sure what LKA has in his mind recently. The way he is behaving, especially criticizing party in public and writing to party president to make Gadkari’s to head coming assembly election makes one wonder what is going on in his mind. Why did he propose Gadkari’s name, who was such a disaster in UP assembly election. Who in the BJP leaked to the media about his letter to Rajnath and also Sushma Swaraj walking out of parliamentary meeting? Both the NDTV and IBNLive reported these new as from “Source”. Who is this source? Is Advani heading “finish Modi” lobby within the party? Does he dislike Modu because he is not a Brahmin? Will he do the same thing to Modi as he has done to BSY? I just wonder.

  • A

    I think that the criminals in the present government must not be allowed to get away with their scams, and the new government must pursue the cases against them in specially appointed fast track courts. There have been scams of lacks of crores in the past 9 years, and we don’t know if all of them have come to light.

    The new government should also seek the answer to these questions -

    1. How come our Italian imports increased at a time when Chidambaram was whining about the global slowdown ? He was wrong because the Indian growth story is consumption driven by a domestic population and not export driven like China’s.

    2. What is the net worth of Sonia Gandhi, and what are her sources of income ? Why didn’t she answer this in a PIL that was filed ?

    3. Robert Vadra’s shady transactions with construction companies. India Today carried an article on this, and Vadra has repeatedly bought a piece of land from a company only to sell it back again with 1000% plus gains. How could he get away with this ?

    4. Robert Vadra has bought land in Himachal Pradesh. Who authorised the selling of restricted land and why ?

    5. What is Rahul Gandhi’s source of income and how many times has he travelled abroad on public money, and on his own money ? Is he a citizen of Italy and holds an Italian passport as well as an Indian one ? What is the name on the passport ?

    There are a lot of secrets about the Gandhi family and a lot of explanations are owed to the people of India. Let the new government find the answers. Atalji made a major mistake in not getting Sonia investigated, after all the Bofors scam was only about 64 Crore rupees. Well, now the scams are in lakhs of crores.

  • http://www.niticentral.com Hari Om

    BJP has everything to gain by projecting Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.Any move on its part to think otherwise would be only to help the Congress.In fact, it would mean negation of the national mood.

    • R Prasad

      Not declaring Modi as PM is political suicide for BJP. It will stay permanent opposition party of India like Ravi Shastri used be permanent vice caption of Indian Cricket during 90′s.

  • Amar

    Spent force and eternal PM in waiting Advani should have retired from politics after 2009 debacle. He is like Tendulkar of BJP who is hanging on in the party because of his past records and has nothing to show at present. To make matters worse, he has proposed Gadkari’s name to head the election committee rather than allowing NaMo to be at the helm. Next spoiler is Sushma Swaraj who apparently is more concerned about her image as shadow prime minister and hence doesn’t want NaMo to be the PM candidate. Her ego is so much that she has walked out of BJP meet after being upset at Modi’ role. And what record does she have to show in case she is the PM candidate? Her disastrous and pathetic stint as the Delhi CM in the past. Then there are the Shiv Sena clowns blackmailing the BJP. All these fools of highest order should read the writing on the wall and sing paens of NaMo and should join the Modi4PM bandwagon. Otherwise, rest assured, a ha-trick as the main opposition party.

  • vasanth patel

    I have habit of keeping some old magazines.recently when I was referring through one of ‘India today’,I saw a online poll on it which asked “would modi be a better PM candidate than advani?” there was yes:66%.I filped over and saw the date,it was Jan 2008.now its 2013…BJP would have to decide whether it wants to govern India by projecting modi or be the leader of opposition for eternity..time is running out..there is saying”GOD helps only those who helps themselves”..

  • http://twitter.com/UP4Modi UP MODI supporter

    There are key points which has to be addressed if BJP really targeting above 50 seats in UP.
    1) UP LS Candidate must be decided on their merits , local to constituencies NO OUT SIDERS. Ticket holder should not be relative be from Bhai Bhatija category.
    2) UP lok sbha Candidate must be decided by Modi and Amit Shah only, other wise D4 will again disturb it as they are doing after 1998-99.
    3) No Ticket to losers of 2009.
    4) Candidate must be young, educated and dynamic not 8th class fail goons.
    5) Off course caste is important so you cant ignore this.

    • http://twitter.com/raghavendrapb R Prasad

      Agree with all other points of your comment, but 4) Candidate must be young, educated and dynamic not 8th class fail goons.

      >> Education does not matter, the Sanskaras (abilities to do good thing) and hard work matter. It is better to elect an uneducated DOER than educated TALKER.

  • Anil Singh

    The main reason why the BJP lost UP was that it betrayed the Ram Temple Movement. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose sole ambition was to create a super-secular image of and for himself, was the person who refused to back Kalyan Singh when he needed backing, and down went the BJP with Kalyan Singh.
    Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave no thought to how the BJP was going to win UP in 2009. In fact he was banking on Mulayam Singh getting 40 seats in UP, and getting his support in case the NDA fell short of the mark by 40 odd seats. As it happened, Mulayam did get 40 seats, but NDA fell way short of the mark.
    Nobody since Kalyan Singh has bothered to think how UP can be won, and I do not know if UP can be won at all.
    I have a feeling though, that if anyone can swing it, it is Modi. I would have thought that the BJP first needed to apologize to its constituency who flocked to them because of their support to the Ram Temple Movement, but there is a good chance that this approach might not work. The least the BJP can do is to refrain from Vajpayee-ism, and stop believing that flagging his deadpan face can get them votes.

  • bapty.s

    I beg to differ with some comments above in introducing advaniji. INDIAS PROBLEMS ARE HUGE IF WE GET BOGGED DOWN WITH INNER TURMOILS, SENIOR LEADER, PATRIOT ETC INDIA OF 700 MILLION YOUNG WILL MISS THE BUS.

    CONGRESS HAS LEFT THE COUNTRY WITH HUGE PROBLEMS, ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SOCIAL, BORDER PROBLEMS, TERRORISTS AND HUMUNGOUS BUDGET DEFICITS,,WITH RUPEE HEADING SOUTHBOUND TO RS 60. LEADERS SITTING INDELHI BEING SWEET TO ONE ANOTHER CANT SOLVE YOUNG INDIAS PROBLEMS OF UNEMPLOYMENT, INFLATION, MEHENGAYI, LOOTS. SCAMS ETC ETC.

    SO I FEEL LEADER LIKE MODIJI WITH NO PERSONAL INTEREST,BUT SOLELY OF THIS HUGE COUNTRY OF 122 CR PEOPLE WHO CAN WORK 18 HRS A DAY WITH A VISION IS WHAT INDIA WANTS.MY FRIENDS I HUMBLY SUBMIT MY HONEST COMMENTS, NOT OFFEND ANYONE, ,BUT IN THE SOLE INTEREST OF YOUNG INDIA. THANK YOU

  • Bapty S

    MY FELLOW COMMENTATORS, SORRY I MISSED A POINT I WANTED TO MAKE IT MY LAST LINE IN EARLIER COMMENT.
    I AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN BJP ANNOUNCING SHRI NARENDRA MODIJI AS THEIR P.M CANDIDATE.,BEFORE THE POLLS.HUMBLY MAY I SUBMIT THE PARLIAMENTARY BOARD OR RSS CANT DECIDE THIS ONE POST.
    .MILLIONS OF BJP KARYAKARTAS WILL SLOG TO CANVASS & GET VICTORY.YOUNG INDIA ,WOMEN OF INDIA ALL FOR THEIR FUTURE & THAT OF THEIR FAMILY WANT MODIJI AS THEIR P.M

    CAN BJP BE THAT SINGLE PARTY WHO WILL WIN USING VOTES OF VOTERS WHO MADE BJP WIN,& THEN SAY OUR PARLIAMENTARY BOARD WILL DECIDE & MAY APPOINT SOMEONE TO PLEASE SOMEONE.
    THEN ARE 80 CRORE VOTERS OF BHARAT FOOLS ? WOULD THIS NOT BE TANTAMOUNTING TO DISHONESTY & LACK OF INTEGRITY TO PEOPLE OF BHARAT BY BJP & RSS

    BJP NEEDS TO VERY SERIOUSLY PONDER WHETHER VOTERS OF INDIA ARE MORE IMPORTANT OR THE OPINION &DECISION OF A FEW SITTING IN DELHI OFFICE, OR FOR THAT MATTER EVEN IN NAGPUR.IF MODIJI IS NOT GOING TO BE MADE P.M CANDIDATE THEY MUST ANNOUNCE IT UPFRONT. THANK YOU. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DISCUSSIONS OR COMMENTS ON MY VIEWS.




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