BJP’s 2024 strategy being unveiled one neta at a time

Those in Opposition who took Modi on may regret it as the Shiv Sena debacle shows

Those in Opposition who took Modi on may regret it as the Shiv Sena debacle shows
Those in Opposition who took Modi on may regret it as the Shiv Sena debacle shows

Modi’s knack of judging the mood of the nation is impeccable

Don’t cross the path of Narendra Modi

In the past one week, this realization has come to Uddhav Thackeray, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Hemant Soren, and Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

An expected dramatic re-entry of Yogi Adityanath with double engine and bulldozer syndromes. Indian politics turned in 2022 with the “UPYOGI” concept coined by Modi. Shortly after UPYOGI Narendra Modi sprang yet another surprise in the form of Droupadi Murmu.

These two projections are bound to yield fruit for National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The NDA led by Modi will face only regional straps and not a gigantic national party that the Indian National Congress once was. Having been decimated in the past ten years, it is a pale shadow of itself with only in power in Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh.

Next to UPYOGI coinage, Modi articulated yet another ‘theory” of “Short circuit and short cut” in his Ranchi speech. This explicitly revealed his political push. Whom did Modi have in mind, is it on everyone’s minds?

Why take on Modi? A warning was given but Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray in 2019, but he did not listen. Sukhbir Singh Badal showed his trump card of “Farm Law” and walked out of NDA. Hemant Soren at Deoghar was full of praise for Narendra Modi. Now, not only Uddhav but a realization has come to Sharad Pawar also.

In thirty months, Uddhav realized his mistake. He appears to have found Droupadi Murmu as an excuse and wants to return to the Modi fold. And that he is under pressure to take up the Hindutva line. The pressure was from Eknath Shinde formerly his deputy. Sukhbir Singh too got routed in Punjab in the May Assembly polls and is now waiting for the Modi door to open.

In one shot Narendra Modi took on Sharad Pawar and also Uddhav, the two top leaders of Maharashtra. Now let us go back to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls – Narendra Modi had two major slogans – Gujarat Model and Congress Mukt Bharat. If you correlate these two, an in-depth analysis of their persona of Modi will be easy. And if you stretch it further for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, BJP and in particular Narendra Modi is ensuring that 5 dynasts-run-state parties are his arch-rival of him, thus eliminating Congress from the 2024 Lok Sabha poll scene as the principal opposition party.

Why Indian Politics turns only during Presidential polls?

Each time during the Presidential elections, Indian politics takes a different avatar. Be it 1969. or for that matter 2017 Ram Nath Kovind. But Narendra Modi rewrote the Indian system of Presidential polls, with his shrewdness. Added to his image of “Sab Ka Saath- Sab ka Vikas” the slogan goes deeper into the mindsets of the downtrodden. You may criticize Modi, but he brought each of his political rivals into his widespread net in 2022, with the ‘tribal-woman’ card of Murmu. It was Modi who got Uddhav Thackrey to get elected to the Upper House of Maharashtra. But in two years, Uddhav had to resign.

Maharashtra – Maha Sangram for Shiv Sena?

A BJP general secretary said, “If the Shiv Sena is willing to embrace the Shinde-led rebels and have an alliance with the BJP, the central leadership will assist them. One phone call will keep Uddhav like the adage one apple keeps the doctor away.

Jharkand – JMM back to NDA Parivar?

The bonhomie between Modi and Soren was evident. The timing of Modi’s visit to Jharkhand to open Deoghar airport and AIIMS hospital has been impeccable. Modi’s style of approach is unique. Modi will leave New Delhi for Deoghar but will stop at Patna. In other words, “two functions in one trip”. Never you would have seen him travelling up and down New Delhi. He will invariably stop over at a third place. Be it Indian or foreign visits.

From my political understanding, the Congress leaders and the three Gandhis will get the realization of Modi, after they have burnt their fingers. Congress called Murmu an inherent part of tribal culture to accord a warm welcome to guests and constitutional heads. At a time when the NDA, led by PM Modi, has announced Smt Draupadi Murmu, a woman from Adivasi samaj as its nominee for the President’s office, a move that will significantly empower the tribals, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar an IPS officer hailing from Karnataka served in Jharkhand – calls Draupadi Murmu evil by association! Just because she is a tribal.

Soren said, “If the Centre continues with its cooperation and if the public supports us, I can assure from this platform that Jharkhand would be among the leading states in the country within the next five years.” And Uddhav friends feel, after all, all it takes is a phone call or a meeting between the PM and Thackeray.”

Sources say that there is a larger message in Thackeray’s decision to concede to his MPs on Murmu: that he is willing – even eager – to maintain cordial relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and mend broken fences with the Centre. Through Shiv Sena’s decision on Murmu, Thackeray would want to subtly convey that the Sena-BJP relationship is still an open-ended affair.

The Shiv Sena’s decision to back National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee, former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu, for the Presidential election might not change the outcome for the poll to elect India’s first citizen (she was winning anyway), but it has major implications, in Maharashtra and nationally. Murmu, having already secured the support of several non-NDA parties such as the Biju Janata Dal, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and the YSR Congress Party, is virtually sure of a victory in the July 18 election over Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Sena’s support is not merely a morale booster, but opens the doors for reconciliations between Modi and Uddhav, Modi and Soren, Modi and Badals, and Modi and Naidu.

But interpreting the decision – which came only after an overwhelming majority of Sena parliamentarians told Uddhav Thackeray to back Ms. Murmu – holds significance for India’s richest state. It indicates that after striking a combative pose, Mr. Thackeray is hitting conciliatory notes (last week, he said that the doors of Matoshree, the seat of Sena power, were open to rebels who brought his government down) because he realizes that any more confrontation with chief minister Eknath Shinde will lead to further splintering in the party. It shows that his hold on the party remains tenuous and despite his public gratitude to alliance partners, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, the Maha Vikas Aghadi is on its last legs. It indicates that the Sena is yet to recover from the vertical split it suffered last month, and continues to play catch-up. And, it has underlined the Bharatiya Janata Party’s astuteness in nominating an Adivasi woman to the highest office, making it politically and symbolically tough for parties to oppose her elevation.

Short circuit and Short cut

“Short-cut politics is a challenge today. People could get votes through populist measures. But the truth is that any country that resorts to short-cut politics is bound to face short-circuit,” Modi later said at a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in Deoghar. “But there is no short cut for hard work.”

Without naming any political party, Modi hit out at political opponents, saying previous governments used to resort to short-circuit politics. “I appeal from here in Deoghar that you need to reject short-cut politics because people who practice it would never give you new airports, roads, and medical colleges in each district,” he added.

Why did the BJP hold its General Council Meeting in Hyderabad?

Insiders in the Narendra Modi dispensation hinted to me that Hyderabad was chosen by Modi to hold BJP national executive and general council. BJP debates pros and cons. BJP gets feedback from RSS and other external organizations. Modi with his experience of having addressed 1800 rallies in 8 years, has a good pulse of Indian politics.

Having saturated in the Hindutva belt, the BJP outreach should hit the Southern States, was the final resolution. Close to the Presidential nominee announcement, the onslaught on “gore parivarvad” Narendra Modi wanted to show his power of pushing at Bob, Beta, and Beti sarkar. Amit Shah in a lighter vein quoted that the BJP politically punctured the cycle in Uttar Pradesh and now moving to take the air out of four wheels of a Car. The election symbols of the Samajwadi Party and Telangana Rashtriya Samiti. Now the road is clear for bulldozers for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, a “national highway” to New Delhi’s Newly constructed Parliament House building.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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R Rajagopalan is a veteran journalist. He reported Parliament proceedings for Dinamani and Vaartha. Since 1980. A well known face in English TV debates. He Widely traveled with Presidents and Prime Ministers.
R Rajagopalan


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