Detractors of BJP’s Narendra Modi, victorious in the 2014 general elections, have always being making wrong prophecies about him…
Won’t stay Chief Minister. Won’t win Assembly polls. Won’t be Prime Ministerial candidate. Won’t get allies. Won’t be PM. Won’t get a majority. Won’t be able to implement the Gujarat Model at the national level.
Well, all of the above have all been proved wrong and now the detractors are focusing on the last. That he won’t be able to implement his Gujarat Model at the Centre. Well they are wrong again and even for that he has got off to a flying start…
1. Absolute majority: Modi contested three Assembly elections and in all three he got an absolute majority. It was always clear that Modi had won the election and he was never at the mercy of his MLAs and went ahead and did whatever he wanted.
Now the same thing has happened at the Centre. He has secured an absolute majority of his own and it is he who is the sole author of the election and will not be at the mercy of the MPs and will be able to do whatever he wants.
2. No opposition: In Gujarat there is no Opposition of any kind. The Congress has been made irrelevant and hardly manages to oppose him in the Assembly. Neither do they have the numbers nor do they have support of the masses.
Again this has been replicated at the national level. In the Lok Sabha, Modi faces absolutely no Opposition. The Congress has been made irrelevant and it will be difficult for them to oppose him in Parliament. Neither do they have the numbers nor do they have support of the masses.
You may point to the Rajya Sabha and say that the BJP has very few numbers there. However with the BJP performing so well, they will steadily increase their numbers in the coming years and in the case of an emergency all Modi has to do is vote in a joint session.
Since the NDA has 335 seats, any Bill can sail through in such a scenario.
3. Irrelevant media: The mainstream media has no role in Gujarat. They are hardly a challenge to Modi and he faces no dissent there. The MSM has been attacking at Modi for 12 years at the national level and as a result of that Modi became PM with 282 seats.
Modi boycotted TV channels when he wanted to and he gave interviews to all of them save the select few he thought were really against him. Modi wasn’t bothered by the media at the State level. Modi won’t be bothered by the media at the national level.
4. BJP leaders irrelevant: Senior leaders had absolutely no say in the way Modi ran Gujarat. It was Modi’s fiefdom. It was Modi’s vision. Modi’s rules. Modi’s men. Now thanks to the sheer numbers that Modi has delivered for the BJP and the NDA, Modi is free to run the Central government exactly how he wants to.
5. RSS/VHP irrelevant: He has made even the RSS and VHP irrelevant in Gujarat. Now one is hearing non-stop headlines of Modi being a remote control of the RSS.
This is laughable. Bal Thackeray was the most powerful person in the Shiv Sena. That’s why he remote controlled the Maharashtra Chief Minister.
Sonia Gandhi is the most powerful person in the Congress. That’s why she remote controlled her Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
However Modi is by far the most powerful leader in the entire Sangh Parivar. A weaker entity can in no way remote control a stronger entity.
6. Amit Shah and Team Modi: In Gujarat, Shah was Modi’s Man Friday and the second most powerful. He also had his own elite team. Had the BJP got 210 seats and the NDA 250, then Modi would have struggled to form a government and get all his own men in key positions.
But now Shah has given a stunning electoral verdict in Uttar Pradesh and there’s nobody who can challenge him. He can also get his entire team from Gujarat should he want to do so.
What this means is that Modi is exactly in the same position as he was when he won the Gujarat Assembly elections in 2002. He can continue his leadership and governance style and run things in India the way he ran Gujarat.
Critics will call this a highly simplistic analysis and insist that India is no Gujarat.
But in the last 12 years Modi has proved his critics wrong on each and every count and there’s nothing to suggest that anything’s going to change in the near future.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogshere.