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Gadkari getting second term means RSS still calls the shots in BJP: Bhupendra Chaubey

Updated: January 3, 2013, 5:45 PM IST
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Gadkari getting second term means RSS still calls the shots in BJP: Bhupendra Chaubey
Is the BJP right in giving a second term to Nitin Gadkari as party president?

Is the BJP right in giving a second term to Nitin Gadkari as party president? CNN-IBN's National Bureau Chief Bhupendra Chaubey joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Is the second term to incumbent a ploy to send LK Advani on compulsory retirement? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. I think LK Advani has already contested his last election. I don't think he will be looking at himself as any future leader.

Q. Don't you think, at this juncture changing BJP president would have given wrong signal, although retaining is not going to change their fortunes. Asked by: S ESHWAR

A. Its status quo that's being achieved by retaining Gadkari.

Q. Gadkari or No Gadkari, people who vote for BJP will vote for Narendra Modi to see him as next PM and that's the mood of the nation now. So Gadkari or No Gadkari doesn't matter is my opinion, Do u agree? Asked by: Kiran_KK

A. But Gadkari's continuance or his being sidelined will reveal how the BJP is approaching its future. If Gadkari continues, then RSS rules. If Gadkari goes, then that will mean that LK Advani and Delhi BJP club has wrested some of the initiative.

Q. Gadkari can be a good or a bad politician but why should he be penalized/rewarded on the basis of some megalomaniac media reports? If media reports are to be the basis of our public discourse, what will happen to the other bodies? Asked by: Kamal Agg

A. That's the only reason why Gadkari may survive. Because the entire campaign against him has been driven largely by the media. Even the congress, didn't really go for him.

Q. BJP has a plethora of leaders on the central level who cant even win a seat on their own(dignified back room guys). Very dissimilar to congress, regional parties where top leaders routinely win their elections, thus giving them a moral authority. What will happen to Mr Modi in this culture? Asked by: Kamal Agg

A. There are some who believe that both congress and BJP are now like regional parties. Where regional chieftains manage parties fortunes on their own. Like a Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman SIngh, Narendra Modi. In congress, you don't have the level of regional leaders. Congress too doesn't exist in many states.

Q. BJP claims that they are a democratic party. How do they elect their president? When was the last time an open election was held? Asked by: Kamal Agg

A. First step is holding of organisational polls. Second step is then to hold consultations with all the leaders. Only then the third step is taken of electing the national president.

Q. Nitin Gadkari is a regional leader with not much of bases outside Maharashtra. Is the BJP successful so far in getting him to leader of national level in Comparison to their own - Jaitley, Sushma, Yashwant Sinha, Ravi shankar prasad or Modi? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. All the names you have mentioned aren't really the first choice for the RSS. Mr Gadkari has spent his entire life within RSS. Let me point out that even when he became the party's national president, He had led the BJP to a loss in Maharasthra assembly elections.

Q. Don't you think that BJP's communal classification by various Politicos, its lack of leadership along with the tainted image of Mr Gadkari (man who wears two hats) reduce it to nothing against the mighty Congress which is facing a mere Perception crisis which also short lived. Gadkari's embrace by BJP has left no motivation for improvement in Congress also. Asked by: Ricky

A. Congress and BJP both are facing a dilema. BJP struggling to deal with succession crisis, Congress dealing with corruption taint. Both struggling for something new.

Q. How is Gadkari different from any other businessman politician? Asked by: pc

A. He is the president of the party. He happens to be the president of the leading national party. That on its own is a difference.

Q. Has the party elected him again as a president or has he self appointed himself for the second term? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. No decision formally announced as yet. But its becoming clear that Nitin Gadkari is the front runner. Consultations at the top level within the BJP suggest, Gadkari will be allowed to continue for a second term as well.

Q. If you compare BJP and Congress presidents (Gadkari & Smt Sonia) who according to you is more tainted? Asked by: Yash

A. Allegations against Gadkari are personal and name him directly. At the end of the day, there are no personal allegations against Sonia Gandhi.

Q. Has the BJP run short of leaders to qualify to lead it as a President? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. That's not true. What's happened within the BJP is that its succession battle has gone on for far too long within the organisation. For the last ten years, there has been this whole talk of who will be the successor. Who will be the leader? There are enough leaders within BJP, question is this, is the Delhi leadership willing to accommodate new leaders.

Q. Why do people of stature within the party not requested to become president of a political party? Are they not able to garner enough people in the rallies? Asked by: Vinay Mehta

A. What does a president of a leading national party do? He isn't expected to hold big rallies himself. His job is to ensure that the nuts and bolts of the party across the country are being oiled well. To Gadkari's credit, while the BJP may not have grown, but reports of infighting have indeed reduced. Which is where, giving him a second term suits everyone. The status quo which exists as of today will continue for some more time.

Q. Tainted like any other politician So no great advantage for BJP even if they give second term for him. If RSS is behind his second tenure they are spoiling their name also. What do you say? Asked by: Prathap

A. You raise a very important point Prathap. It's true that this issue isn't just about who will be the next BJP president. Its also about the powerplay within the sangh parivar. Relations between RSS and BJP. Gadkari getting a second term would imply that at the end of the day today, its still the RSS which calls the shots.

Q. Gadkari as party president...will it be a curse or boon for the BJP in 2014 general election? Asked by: rik chattejee

A. Rik, I don't think today there is any one person whose presence as BJP president can make a sizable difference to the party's prospects. Whether its Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi or Nitin Gadkari. Difference is whether one person can manage to take their party beyond 180 lok sabha seats. There is a question mark on that on all 3 names that I have mentioned.

Q. If leadership as they say requires some special characteristics... the something different, what does Nitin Gadkari have? Asked by: Kailash

A. At the moment, his best virtue is his non existential stake in larger leadership battle. His continuity will prove two things one BJP still remains a status quo group and second RSS still controls leadership of the party.

Q. Had you joined politics( hypothetically),what would had been your choice. A liberal, all inclusive dynastic based party depending on the charisma of its leader or an exclusivist, majoritarian, faction ridden but more democratic party? I do not expect to evade this question. Asked by: Kamal Agg

A. Hi Kamal, I will answer your question without the hypothetical assumption of me joining politics. I would of course prefer inclusive leader I don't think Modi is that leader despite his record breaking victories but I also think that Modi is a symbol of the kind of rage we see in different parts of the country today which is where I believe he is set to be a future leader of the party.

Q. Though the enquiry on Sri Gadkari not legally binding, he is morally wrong, why can't BJP should make Narendra Modi as president as the country is moving towards rapid urbanization with 200 Lok Sabha sets which is immensely beneficial to BJP! Asked by: Prasad KDv

A. I'm sure what you suggest has been discussed within BJP too but I don't think Mr Modi himself wants to be president of the party. His interests are way too high and different.

First Published: January 3, 2013, 5:45 PM IST
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