Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and the best-known face of the party in the state Sushil Kumar Modi is widely seen as the most favored bet for the post of CM if the BJP captured power in the high-stakes state assembly polls. But Modi may have reasons to be worried, going by the buzz that he may not have the blessings of both the party leadership and Sangh Parivar post elections!
There is a strong buzz that Sushil Modi is too powerful a man to be of any comfort to a section of the leadership which does not want the emergence of regional satraps who can pose challenge to the power centre in Delhi. After the advent of the Narendra Modi era in the BJP, the party has anointed relatively lightweight leaders like Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) and Raghubar Das (Jharkhand) chief ministers.
“Narendra Modi does not want powerful state leaders whose loyalty can be questionable,” said a BJP insider, pointing out that when Sushil Modi was the deputy CM under Nitish Kumar he gave several statements which were not flattering to Narendra Modi.
The leader also pointed out that Prime Minister prefers to work with leaders who do not have big mass support.
He referred to the composition of the Narendra Modi’s cabinet and said:
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rural development Minister Venkaih Naidu, Telecom minister Ravishankar Prasad, Human resources minister Smriti Irani and Environment minister Prakash Javadekar are among those ministers who got into the Cabinet through Rajya Sabha route.
While many of these leaders wield enormous power, everyone knows about the “status” of mass leaders like Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External affair ministers Sushma Swaraj.
A section in the Sangh Parivar has also never been happy with Sushil Modi, who has practiced a brand of “inclusive” politics in Bihar which does not appeal to Hardcore Hindutava elements. Sushil Modi never endorsed canard against Muslims and sincerely tried to reach out to them in Bihar. He is among few BJP leaders who has hosted Iftar party for two decades and enjoyed high-level of personal acceptance among the minority community.
Sushil Modi may not be the blue-eyed boy of the BJP leadership and Rashtriya Swayamsevkah Sangh, but the fact remains that few leaders in Bihar can match his organizational ability and clout among the cadres. A tireless worker who devotes his entire waking hours to fine-tuning the party’s electoral strategy and travelling across the state, Sushil Modi has no match within the state unit and it will not be easy for the central leadership to elbow him out when his moment finally arrives.
A sociable character, Sushil Modi Modi is highly popular among the journalist community, for he is an encyclopedia on any matter related to Bihar. This is the reason he is quick to react to any propaganda launched by the Opposition parties and keep the BJP flag flying in the state.
For obvious political reasons and caste rivalries, many of the state BJP leaders are against accepting Sushil Modi’s leadership, a fact that has given a convenient excuse to the BJP central leadership from declaring him the CM’s candidate. But all opinion polls have shown that next to Janata Dal (U) leader and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he is the most accepted choice for the CM’s post.
“ Much will depend on what type of result we get in Bihar. If there is absolute majority, then Sushil Modi may be dispensed with. But if the BJP has a narrow majority, then no one can replace him. After all, most of his handpicked men are going to be elected to the assembly,” said another BJP insider.
- US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken visiting India on July 27. Afghanistan and cooperation in the UN on the agenda - July 24, 2021
- More leaks from Pegasus Project – CBI top brass Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana, Anil Ambani, Rafale India rep also in the surveillance list. Dalai Lama’s men too - July 23, 2021
- Lingayat pontiffs rally behind Yediyurappa, want BJP to allow him to complete term. Subramanian Swamy backs the Chief Minister - July 21, 2021