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Modi can keep the RSS in check much like Vajpayee: Bhupendra Chaubey


Updated: April 2, 2013, 6:50 PM IST
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Modi can keep the RSS in check much like Vajpayee: Bhupendra Chaubey
Is Narendra Modi calling the shots in the BJP?

The newly constituted BJP parliamentary board has included not just Narendra Modi but also his trusted lieutenant, Amit Shah. Advani loyalists like Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh have been left out, powerful regional leaders like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Arjun Munda have also been kept away. So is it all going according to Modi's gameplan? CNN-IBN's National Bureau Chief Bhupendra Chaubey joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Mr Modi known from Kashmir to Kanyakumari & first candidate more popular among youngsters going to increase votes in 2014 election compare with Congress? Asked by: Hari

A. The jury is out on that one. Can Mr Modi increase the overall vote for the BJP or not? Looks likely according to me, but can Mr Modi really take his popularity beyond Gujarat or not. Afterall he has campaigned for the BJP in 2009 too as the star campaigner.

Q. Is Modi seriously considering contesting election from UP ( Lucknow, Gorakhpur or Varanasi)? Asked by: Sandeep

A. That's what I hear. It can be a good strategy, because it will enable BJP to increase its vote base in key political state of UP. Whether he is allowed to contest from Lucknow or not, isn't clear. Because it may still be a while before he fills in the shoes of Vajpayee.

Q. Hi Bhupen ji Good Evening, Do you think Inclusion of Narendra Modi into Parliamentary board will keep RSS and Hardliner Elements away from BJP's political affair, this exactly Mr Modi did in Gujarat. Asked by: Jagannath Pujar

A. Its not possible for RSS to be kept away from BJP's affairs. Narendra Modi does come across as the man who can keep the RSS in check much like what Vajpayee did during his PM years, but its still not certain whether Modi has it him to be ruthless and warm both at the same time.

Q. Bhupen- As Modi is elevated, is this the time for him to aggressively start touring the states for 2014? If he does, how successful will he be? Thanks. Asked by: Ganga Hegde

A. He will obviously be the key campaigner for the BJP. My own assesment is that BJP will stop short of naming him as a PM Candidate. BJP will contest the elections under his name, with his face, but will wait to see whats the ultimate outcome. Modi can be PM only and only if BJP gets 200+ seats. if the BJP is also at 150, then I don't think he will be in a position to attract more allies.

Q. Will Narendra Modi make any impact, if he campaigns in the forthcoming elections in Karnataka? Asked by: Prabhu

A. Personally, I don't think Mr Modi will campaign that much in Karnataka. Writing is on the wall for the BJP there. Modi wouldn't want to start on a losing wicket.

Q. Now Modi govt in Gujarat is diluting the power lokayuktha, your take on that? Asked by: Zak

A. It does show that Mr Modi's administration is always wary of letting any extra constitutional authority intervene in its attempts of managing the states politics. For the longest time, there was no Lokayukta in the state. But once appointed, the state govt wants to ensure that things remain in check.

Q. Will Narendra Modi decide to campaign aggressively in Karnataka considering the fact that in such a case, it will become a Rahul vs Modi contest which he is likely to loose? Asked by: Ankit

A. Karnataka isn't going to a Rahul vs Modi battle as I don't think Modi will campaign that much there. Within the BJP, there is a sense that the state is as good as lost.

Q. More than Modi calling shots I feel BJP have included more mass leaders like Varun rather than more intellectual leaders like Jaswant who don't have a mass base.. your thoughts on it. Asked by: Ganesh

A. Its a good point you raise Ganesh. My sense is that Rajnath singh has gone for this team on two counts, One: to take all different factions along, two : to give the message that charismatic leaders with potential of making it big on the national stage are being given a chance. Varun Gandhi and Rajeev Rudy are amongst those leaders only.

Q. When all the riots in India,including the 1984 sikh riots, are forgotten,why the politicians(secular brand) and the media are raising this Gujarat Riots time and again? Asked by: R.Balasundaram

A. A riot is a riot, whether it happened in 84, or 88 or earlier. The difference between earlier riots and 2002 was that this was the first riot which took place in full glare of TV cameras. Which is why its difficult to forget this.

Q. In which states will Modi help the BJP? Will he make a difference in UP? Will he hurt them in any state? please list out the states and cities crucial to the BJP. When one does the poll math you do not see the BJP getting more than 140-150 seats. who will lead such a coalition? I am from Chennai and despite being a hardcore BJP supporter i will not vote for the BJP as I know it stands no chance. which are the most likely allies of the BJP. I myself will vote for AIADMK as it leans towards the NDA. Asked by: supratik.

A. Yes supratik, in my poll maths too, BJP doesn't cross the figure of 150. The only way this will change is if Modi swings fortunes in states like UP and Bihar. Between these two states, you have a total of 120 seats. At the moment the BJP is below 30 in these two states. If it goes up to 60 or 70, in that case Modi can make a difference. An attempt is being made to start with some kind of a Modi wave in UP. It all depends on what Modi choses from here.

Q. 2009 Star campaigner also but today he going to fight the election also his popularity and young team may help to get more MPs? The team can make good strategy? Congress seems disturbed? Asked by: Hari

A. People vote on the basis of their own self conceived preferences. They can vote because they love a particular individual or they can vote because they believe that a party or an individual can provide them with better governance. At the moment, there is a lot of flux.

Q. What's your assessment of UP tally for BJP if Modi is at the forefront? Asked by: Rohit

A. If Modi contests from UP, then possibly BJP can go upto 20 -25. If he doesn't, then maybe BJP will be up by 5 or 6.

Q. Most of the English media is against Modi or they are not fair towards him. Whats the reason? Asked by: RG

A. It's not that English Media is against him, its just that Mr Modi doesn't like criticism. When the Media wants to grill him, he avoids it and that's why there is often a sense of hostility. Frankly, it would be best if he once and for all gave a public gfx description answering all allegations which are leveled against him.

Q. How many factions exist in the BJP? Will it be a struggle for Modi to win over these different influential groups to his side in the event of them being able to form a coalition govt. in 2014? or will the real internal power struggle come into play only when the results are out and chances are that he may be short changed for the PM's position? Asked by: JK

A. That's the biggest problem for Modi. Managing factions in Gujarat is one thing, Managing the entire party quite another. How will he deal with his peers is what will determine his future.

Q. Why such a hue and cry when Amit Shah is not included in a cabinet and is asked to do party work...what are the standards apply to congress, SP, BSP, and hell a lot of other parties. And why is the media so desperate to attack BJP/Modi. Is it because they are afraid that if BJP comes to power they will loose the clout they have had in the central govt like what we saw in the Radia cases? Asked by: Jay

A. When the BJP was last in power, it was said that the media loves the BJP. Now that the BJP isn't in power, its said media is worried about BJP coming to power. Media just goes about doing its job, that's all.

First Published: April 2, 2013, 6:50 PM IST
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