Political Commentaries

BJP Rejigs Its Apex Bodies

3 Min
BJP Rejigs Its Apex Bodies

Atul Cowshish

The just announced appointments in BJP’s parliamentary board and the central election committee have established—once again– the supremacy of the Modi-Shah duo.     Missing in the two bodies are Union minister Nitin Gadkari and the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The omission of Nitin Gadkari in the parliamentary board has drawn wide attention because he belongs to Nagpur, the HQ of the RSS, and is believed to be the most favoured RSS man in the team that Narendra Modi leads. Chouhan is among the few senior BJP leaders who received their baptism in the saffron party in the earlier era of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Kishan Advani.

It is assumed in some quarters that Gadkari has been deliberately kept out of the parliamentary board in deference to the wishes of the Modi-Shah duo with the RSS in the loop. The former BJP president (Gadkari) has on record made public comments that embarrassed the BJP.

At times, he appeared to be speaking a language that was more in line with the voice of the critics, akin to the language of those who oppose the governing style and policies of the current dispensation.

Some analysts have argued that Gadkari’s name was ticked off because an effort is on to project him as a ‘rival’ or an alternative to Narendra Modi should it become necessary for the BJP to replace a very hawkish Modi with a moderate face who has friends across the party divides.

But it is not easy to agree with the view that Gadkari is emerging as something of a challenger to Modi and, hence, his wings had to be cut by keeping him out of the highest decision-making body of the party.

One thing that has become absolutely clear in the last eight years is that the saffron party has become closely identified with the image of Modi. BJP’s future depends greatly on Modi’s continuation as the top leader of the country. Modi has been accepted as the undisputed champion of Hindutva who is also a very ‘strong’ leader who has not yielded ground to any other leader, in or out of the BJP.

The ‘soft’ image of Gadkari cannot further the Sangh Parivar’s or BJP’s agenda which is driven by Hindutva. So, his becoming a member of any important body of the BJP is not important. The reins of the party will remain in the hands of Modi, ably assisted by Amit Shah.

Besides, Gadkari cannot be seen as a real challenger to Modi who has almost single-handedly injected a heavy dose of religious nationalism among most members of the majority community to make them dedicated BJP voters for life.

A man in the BJP who could perhaps do a similar job is the UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath. But he too has failed to be nominated to the two powerful party bodies. It may also be mentioned that though the RSS must be very pleased with the aggressive brand of Adityanath’s Hindutva, his origin cannot be traced to the RSS or the BJP. This weakens the case for his inclusion in any crucial party forum.

Gadkari’s statements that embarrass the BJP are not taken seriously by the ruling party which knows that the voice of Gadkari or anybody else within the BJP will not find a nation-wide recognition unless amplified by the Godi media, bulk of the media that lies prostrate before the ruling party. The voices that speak of Gadkari emerging as a likely successor of Modi are barely feeble.

The case for Chouhan in the parliamentary board or the election committee does not appear to be strong. Being a serving chief minister, his inclusion in the parliamentary board would have created some problems because many other BJP chief ministers would have expected a similar treatment.

But a close look at the BJP of today would also make it clear that the party is not only run by the Gujarati duo but there is nothing that can checkmate their moves in any field, be it party platforms or running the affairs of the country.

The RSS cannot be complaining too much with the ways of Modi because, all said and done, he is doing a fine job of implementing the RSS agenda.

The BJP government may not have given good governance to the country but the RSS should be more than pleased to see the country’s progress on the Hindutva path. In any case, RSS, calling itself a ‘cultural organisation’ doesn’t have to bother about matters of governance or running the BJP; its focus has been on ‘cultural’ matters which include implementing the Hindutva agenda, which the Modi-Shah is doing very well. Matters like choosing or dropping members from parliamentary board or election committee need not command much attention of the RSS###