Sunday, 27 May 2012

Make-believe win in 2014 polls fires BJP rank & file

Make-believe win in 2014 polls fires BJP rank & file
Clean Media Correspondent

With the BJP’s two-day national executive meet in city being perceived as a successful event, the party workers are charged up, believing that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has a real chance at winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Fuelling the sentiment was the fact that virtually every leader of import was present at the meeting, and which concluded with a public rally on Friday that saw Gujarat chief minister, and the star of the event, share a dais with BJP president Nitin Gadkari and other top leaders.
Of course, the seniormost BJP leader LK Advani was missing, and so was leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj, but party workers aren’t unduly perturbed.“Advani was never scheduled to speak,” said an MLA, “and the reason is that today, his presence at public rallies have become embarrassing for us. As top leader, he will be called to speak last, but once Modi finishes speaking, the people leave. Worse, even our party workers don’t wait to hear Advani’s speech,” he said.
The first day was almost a non-starter after Modi didn’t turn up, and did so after his wishes to exclude his bête noire Sanjay Joshi from the event was met, seen as a snub to Gadkari. But an active BJP worker, who has been with the party for 20 years, said such top-level jockeying means little to people like him on the ground.
“Look, we all know that quite a few are trying to become PM or a top minister and are fighting amongst themselves. That is a natural ambition and in the end only one person can become PM. So we understand these small battles,” he said.
But he also averred that for many party workers, the real concern is not who becomes PM but that the party comes to power no matter what. “At our level, what matters is not who is the PM or whether Gadkari gets a second term (as party president) but that the BJP rules the country. Workers dedicate themselves to that cause, and winning the polls is the reward,” he said.
A former corporator from Mumbai echoed the sentiment, and blamed the media for blowing things out of proportion. “What the workers have noticed is that every top leader was present at the event, which shows that where it matters, the party is united as it heads towards 2014. This is a morale booster. One or two leaders not turning up hardly bothers the rank and file,” he added.
The MLA said the meeting and rally showed that the next generation leaders are coming to the fore and one could expect Advani to stay in the background. “We will go into 2014 on the strength of our good showing in all the BJP-ruled states and with Modi as the first among equals rather than as our PM candidate. This is something we believe our party workers too want,” he said.
But a lady who was waiting for Modi at the meeting centre was quite candid when she said: “Only Modi can become the PM. If the other (BJP) leaders try to stop him, we workers won’t allow that.”

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