PM Modi Gives up Vadodara, Amit Shah May Contest Seat
Narendra Modi has decided to retain his Varanasi seat and give up the Vadodara seat. While the buzz on BJP’s Vadodara candidate for the by-election centres around general secretary Amit Shah, his project of revival of BJP in Uttar Pradesh is of greater interest.
Fo r m e r P r i m e M i n i s t e r Manmohan Singh is said to have remarked to Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy in 2009 that he was Prime Minister because Reddy was in CM in Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra had elected more than 30 Congress MPs in 2004 and 2009, which helped UPA assume power.
While Andhra and Tamil Nadu had a disproportionate representation in the two previous governments, thanks to the numbers UPA had from these states, UP, despite a rich bank of 80 seats has been denied a seat at the high table for decades. “In the past, seats in Uttar Pradesh have been divided between SP, BSP, then BJP and Congress. Only in 1998 did UP give 57 seats to the then NDA government and gain prominence at the Centre,” said Dr Prashant Trivedi of the Giri Institute in Lucknow.
For BJP, Prime Minister Modi’s retention of Varanasi serves a dual purpose. “Modiji, in his years as a pracharak spent many years in north India. By choosing Uttar Pradesh he proves that BJP is a national party, not given to parochialism,” said a senior BJP leader. That pan-India definition, leavened with heartland ethos and politics, had been the mainstay of Congress’ single party rule in the past. BJP, which has found the key to forming a stable g o v e r n me n t a t the Centre via UP, has unwittingly brought the Banarasi babus back in vogue in Delhi.