Big UP Win Will Silence Modi, Shah Critics in the Sangh
Considering the huge margin by which it is leading in the state, UP seems to be BJP’s victory than loss for gathbandhan or BSP. If the leads turn out to be true, the huge victory margin for the party in UP will cement Modi-Shah’s predominance in BJP and silence their critics in Sangh and the party for a long time.
Poll banner of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow.
New Delhi: Considering the huge margin by which it is leading in the state, UP seems to be BJP’s victory than loss for gathbandhan or BSP. If the leads turn out to be true, the huge victory margin for the party in UP will cement Modi-Shah’s predominance in BJP and silence their critics in Sangh and the party for a long time.
Dissent in BJP’s state unit had broken out immediately after the party’s loss in Bihar. Senior leaders, along with Arun Shourie and Sangh renegade Govindhacharya, had penned a letter squarely blaming Modi and Shah. RSS had not endorsed the statement but not rejected the criticism either.
Although not much came out of it, but there were moments when friction between RSS and Narendra Modi was quite apparent. Take for instance RSS’ unhappiness with Modi’s criticism of cow vigilante gangs, which happened after the dalit-thrashing incident in Una, threatened to consolidate UP’s OBCs against BJP.
Also when senior RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya commented against reservations or when the RSS sarsanghchalak claimed that ‘nationalism’, which BJP has made into a big political issue, was no individual’s preserve. The economic wing of the RSS – Swadeshi Jagran Manch - has not even tried to hide its anger at BJP’s investment policies.
As far as UP was concerned there was an angry exchange of words between RSS and BJP over ticket distribution. Of the six state units of RSS in UP, heads of four state units had written describing their reservations about ticket distribution.
Ticket distribution had rankled not just RSS but BJP’s own party members. Amit Shah’s vehicle was blocked and his effigies burnt in UP after the party high command released its list of candidates for UP.
In the run up to the polls, sections in the party, on condition of anonymity, often talked about how tickets this time were distributed to children or spouses of senior BJP leaders and how their space in the party was replaced by outsiders like former BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
Even senior UP leaders in the party, including the former Chief Minister of the state Rajnath Singh, seemed unwilling to be foot soldiers of Amit Shah and stake their reputations as Narendra Modi had done.
BJP’s back-to-back thumping victories in Lok Sabha as well as Vidhan Sabha polls in UP, which is often considered to be the gateway to winning Delhi, will now establish Modi-Shah duo as the supreme authority in the Sangh.
After 2014, for the second time perhaps, Narendra Modi has confirmed his stature as the tallest figure in a diverse organisation which has traditionally considered the RSS chief as its supreme leader.
As he did in Gujarat, Modi has shown that he can win without the support of the Sangh. With victories assured not just in UP but in Uttarakhand as well, he has proved that going into the 2019 general elections, it is the RSS that needs him more than he needs the RSS.
Modi will now be assured that none of his financial, diplomatic or security initiatives will meet with any creditable opposition in a long time.
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