Under the scanner of BJP high command
Thankfully, the PM has found five people he trusts to give him economic advice. Hope, he actually consults them, and whole BJP and his followers would be delighted if he acts on their suggestions and warnings. But nothing in his career so far suggests that he will. So, anyone in Modi’s middle-class base who sees this new council as a sign of hope is deluding himself or herself. The only way that Modi will become the Prime Minister the middle class wants is if they accept the possibility that there could vote for someone else in 2019. If the middle class says it will vote for Modi regardless of how much of a disappointment he is, why would he not continue to disappoint them?
A party insider who is not a ‘brain dead’, whom we are deliberately putting undercover said, “A coterie of sycophants has emerged around Narendra Modi that has been giving sugar coated feedback on the government initiatives like demonetization, GST implementation and some other government schemes like Mudra Yojna, jan Dhan Yojna etc.” The leader said that a section of senior RSS leaders and some BJP leaders have met Narendra Modi and urged him to have a relook towards the financial health of the Indian economy. What Arun Jaitley is pretending may not be the correct feedback. The leader said that under Narendra Modi, BJP took two major economic decisions and on both occasions, PM was convinced by the finance minister that preparations were foolproof though the claim came wrong after its implementation. Today, nobody is complaining against the GST, people are complaining about its messy way of implementation.
On whether Modi would change his Finance Minister, the leader said, “I don’t think so. Arun Jaitley won’t be shown the door because on several occasions the Prime Minister has been suggested by various senior RSS and BJP leadership to relieve Jaitley from the post of Finance Minister as he is unable to handle things with kind of care required from him. But, on all occasions, the Prime Minister has shown full faith in the Finance Minister.” If we go by recent reshuffle, leader’s claim emerges correct because majority of the BJP leaders (read Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman) rewarded are considered close to Arun Jaitley.
The leader also said that leader like Narendra Modi needs to rectify his style of function because he has to contest elections while his sycophants don’t contest polls. He said that till Modi’s
winnability is there, such leaders would revolve around him like honey bee but once he would lose his mojo, they switch their loyalty very fast and who else would better knows than Modi because these are the same leaders who were earlier courtiers of LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. He informed that these sycophants are poisoning Modi about UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath which can be disastrous for Modi’s bid to second term in 2019.
MODI VERSUS YOGI
Going by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s confirmation, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have spoken to Adityanath about the latest misstep on his watch - the police violence against women students at the BHU campus the day the PM was in his constituency of Varanasi. While Gadkari did not divulge what was said to Adityanath, sources say a line has been drawn and Shah has expressed displeasure at how UP is being run.
Significantly, the communication to Adityanath being divulged for public consumption makes clear the reprimand as well as a nuanced distancing by Modi and Shah. Sources within the BJP say that interesting tussle has emerged between Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya who was a contender for Chief Minister after the party won the state election. Maurya has been keeping Shah posted directly on UP developments. Shah made a three-day trip to Lucknow in July and stayed at Maurya’s home, a fact not lost on BJP workers upset with the stridency of the HVY cadre after Adityanath took over. Shah also had meetings with UP ministers, party workers and the RSS without Adityanath presence.
But, bone of contention is different not the mismanagement of the BHU student protest or the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy. Some party insiders in Uttar Pradesh say that the UP Chief Minister wants to complete the Ayodhya Temple before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in an amicable and legal manner. He has support of the RSS and some other Hindu religious leadership in this regard too. But, Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley seem rattled by such speed of Yogi Adityanath. Since, Amit Sha is eyes and ears of Modi and Arun Jaitley has control in majority of the ministries since he is too close to Modi that any other minister can afford to ignore Jaitley.
Hence, it’s high time for Modi to realize, if Yogi pays, finally it would be Modi who would first pay its price in 2019. He doesn’t need to go too far. Just see what happened to BJP when Kalyan Singh was rattled by same kind of cartel that led to ouster of BJP face those days in UP. At a time when Samajwadi Party is paying the price of being partisan to Yadavas and Mayawati losing her loyal lieutenants as the day progresses, if someone who can hurt BJP the most then its sycophancy culture that has emerged around Narendra Modi. Now, it’s up to Prime Minister Modi and his ability to handle the situation because people plotting against Yogi would finally aim to paint this fight into Modi versus Yogi.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
CLUB OF LISTENERS: BJP leaders at BJPs national executive meeting in New Delhi