Brand Modi has a new admirer. BJP president Rajnath Singh, who has never been comfortable with the idea of having to contend with a charismatic, more powerful rival within the party, was on Sunday forced to admit the success story scripted by the Gujarat chief minister was worth emulating in other states.
In a move that is certain to spell trouble for Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has set about building a social coalition comprising EBCs, Muslims and ‘maha-Dalits’ (most backward among Dalits).
From a party inflicted with self-doubt, severe infighting and an acute leadership crisis to one that is a battle-ready, raring-to-go outfit, the BJP has scripted a remarkable turnaround.
For former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, the assembly elections in Gujarat were supposed to demonstrate his hold over Leuva Patels, particularly in the Kutch-Saurashtra region.
In the seventies, the Nav Nirman agitation launched by a group of students in Gujarat gave the BJP (then known as the Bharatiya Jan Sangh) a platform to realise its political ambitions, first in Gujarat and later, in other parts of the country.
Till the time he was in control of things, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was described as “a right man in a wrong party.
The BJP looks set to suffer a drop in its support-base among the numerically-significant Lehva Patels.
BSP supremo Mayawati, who had promised a repeat of the Uttar Pradesh experiment in Gujarat, is finding the going a lot more difficult than she would have imagined.
As the two principal contenders slug it out to gain control of Gujarat, one community has virtually been forced out of the frame.
If there was any confirmation needed that Mr L K Advani is, indeed, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, it was provided here on Thursday when chief ministers, a chief minister-designate, deputy chief ministers and other senior leaders lined up at his official residence to greet him on his 80th birthday.
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