THE BJP’S NEW HOLY TRIN­ITY

Along with smart elec­toral arith­metic, there’s a high de­gree of sym­bol­ism in the way BJP has fielded its new power tri­umvi­rate

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Naren­dra Modi from Varanasi

The holy city of the Hin­dus, Varanasi con­nects the two worlds, ma­te­rial and the spir­i­tual. Like Moditva, a com­bi­na­tion of the Hin­dutva im­age and the de­vel­op­ment agenda. Po­lit­i­cally, BJP be­lieves that power can be cap­tured in Delhi only when UP is won de­ci­sively. Even if Modi fails to be­come prime min­is­ter, he en­ters the Lok Sabha from Ut­tar Pradesh— like sev­eral for­mer prime min­is­ters Jawa­har­lal Nehru, Lal Ba­hadur Shas­tri, Indira Gandhi, Ra­jiv Gandhi and Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee.

Arun Jait­ley

from Am­rit­sar Am­rit­sar is home to the holi­est shrine of the Sikhs. The SAD-BJP al­liance thrived on close ties be­tween the Va­j­payee-Ad­vani duo and Pun­jab CM Parkash Singh Badal. As that era ends, the sym­bol­ism of pass­ing on the ba­ton to Jait­ley and Sukhbir is not lost on any­one. The ju­nior Badal has de­puted brother-in­law Bikramjit Singh Ma­jithia to en­sure Jait­ley’s win. A Lok Sabha win opens fu­ture doors that a Ra­jya Sabha nom­i­na­tion may not.

Ra­j­nath Singh

from Luc­know Luc­know isn’t just the

cap­i­tal of the state that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha; it is also the seat held once by for­mer prime min­is­ter Va­j­payee, the party’s mod­er­ate face. The BJP pres­i­dent’s at­tempt at sym­bol­ism—that he is a Va­j­payee in the mak­ing—is not merely in the lisp and ges­tures of the hand. A win from Luc­know could come handy if Moditva fails to cob­ble to­gether an NDA that will cross the 272-mark.

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