Published On : Fri, May 22nd, 2015

How happy is ‘Nagpur’ with happenings in Delhi?

Nagpur/NewDelhi:  A lot of things are happening in Delhi right now.

The PM is back from his latest foreign tour where he toured China, Korea and Mongolia. He made some utterances when there, which haven’t gone down well with Indians at all. Though Modi has a fan following of crores on twitter, yet hash tag #ModiInsultsIndia got a lot of tweets and was the top trender in the first half of the day.

The ‘fight’ between Delhi CM, Kejriwal and Lt. Governor Jung has gone to the President. Even Rajnath Singh has met the President about this.

Why are we dragging Nagpur into these stories about the country’s capital?

Simple. Because many still believe that the ‘remote control’ happens to be in Nagpur – or at least the Sangh H.Q. in Nagpur can influence happenings, if not dictate them.

This belief itself is being challenged more and more.

Though no one can deny the lion’s share of the RSS in crafting BJP’s impressive win in the last general elections, there are clear signs that since Modi took over, they are being sidelined. By the PM and his closest aide Amit Shah at least.

This is ironical since RSS openly backed Amit Shah for BJP’s Presidentship.
The RSS reportedly believed that giving Modi a BJP president of his choice would ensure good coordination between the party and the government. Amit Shah is not only Mr Modi’s protege and confidant, but also worked closely with him as his home minister for many years when Mr Modi was Gujarat chief minister. After Rajnath Singh joined the Modi cabinet in May, the BJP reportedly discussed the names of a number of senior party leaders like JP Nadda and Om Prakash Mathur to succeed him, but Shah soon emerged as a distinct front runner.

There were definitely reservations about both important and powerful posts going to one state, namely Gujarat, but they were overlooked.. The bigger need , it was felt, was to avoid a situation like that of the Congress, where there were two power centers in party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the party and government were sometime at odds mostly at the cost of Singh. Modi would never agree to play second fiddle to the party . This was a given; so he was in fact given a party President who would completely be subservient to him.

In retrospect, this move seems to have back fired on RSS. How much Modi would dominate the party through him no one had realized. Therefore Shourie’s comments that only three person wield all power in Delhi and the nation – Modi, Shah and Jaitley should not be seen as in isolated incident. He has the full backing of RSS.

In the run up to Modi’s first anniversary as PM all his senior Ministers are appearing on prime time TV every night. Speaking at one such show last night, Nitin Gadkari, on NDTV spoke some partial truths.

He ruled out RSS playing any role in the BJP government – which no one believes. (Remember at the RSS once-in-three-years conclave when the RSS adressed the press, the whole tone and tenor was ‘yes, finally we have achieved our objective in the country. We have OUR government.’ When asked if the post of SarSanghchalak was going to go to someone else from Bhagwat, the reply was – a winning army does not change its General in between the war!)

Gadkari asserted very firmly, that there was no contradiction or dichotomy in belonging both to the BJP Government as Senior Minister and being RSS member. He said both he and others like Parrikar were devoted RSS workers and would remain so.

He also scoffed ‘rumours’ that Parrikar, Rajnath Singh and ‘others’ were coming to Nagpur to complain about Modi’s authoritative and secretive ways of working. Why did he mention this at all, when this question was not even asked? Was he denying the supposed rumours or was he actually giving an information? Because it is a fact that all the people named have been to Nagpur recently and spent long hours in RSS Bhawan. As does he himself.

Among others who have not been to Nagpur but are still upset with PM’s style of working is Sushma Swaraj. Designation wise, she is among the top five Ministers – but where IS Sushma? She is neither seen on any of the PM’s foreign tours accompanying him, nor is she seen on TV as a face of the Government or the party. (When Modi was in China, she was sent to the other corner of the world – to South Africa….or was it South America? No one knows because it received no prominence or even mention in any of the news columns or shows.)

The only female face who is here there and everywhere is Smriti Irani, a comparative light weight to Sushma and a much newer entrant into the party. Why is Smirit being given so much prominence, many are asking. There are open rumbles – read tweets – from other former spokespersons, now Ministers themselves too, like Meenakshi Lekhi. When giving an ‘exclusive interview to Senior Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, Smriti used more lung power to insult and humiliate him than reply to any questions. Her most telling rejoinder when cornered on one issue was ” Rajdeep, I had heard that you were anti Modi; you proved it when you were with Modiji in USA ”
( was that to remind Rajdeep how he was roughed up by some NRIs for being a Modi detractor?) “but I never imagined you would prove it again on National TV!” Excuse me… how is being critical of Irani’s working being anti – Modi?

Anyone wants proof that Modi is not all important and cabinet is not just incidental, or ornamental, quickly try and recall names of Modi Ministers who are in the news…

Modi, Jaitley, Rajnath Singh….now Parrikar….. who else?? Gadkari of course, but because he is from Nagpur and we all are proud of him in this city. Isn’t it strange that after being in power for one year, and with so many farmer problems becoming glaring, no one can remember just WHO the Agriculture Minister is? Or with industrial development being talked of, can anyone name the Industries or Commerce Minister?

That is the real comment on Modi’s way of working…..and why RSS is not happy. Yes, definitely Delhi and Nagpur are not on the same page any more. If they ever were…

Sunita Mudliyar