Isn’t it curious that when some Nagpur BJP party members decide to put up hoardings wishing former Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bahadur Vajpayee on his birthday, there is no photo of the present P.M. Narendra Modi, also a BJP leader on the hoarding?
There are the photos of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, a big blow up of Sudhakar Kolhe, Sandeep Gavai, smaller images of Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Energy Minister and Guardian Minister of Nagpur, Mayor Praveen Datke etc. but no mention or image of Modi at all!
There was a time prior to 2014 general elections when Modi was BJP and BJP was Modi – the entire election campaign nation wide had just Modi and only Modi. The full page ads that were published in all national newspapers like Times of India, Hindu or Hindustan Times had the Modi pic and slogan – ‘Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar’. Mind you, not BJP, not NDA but Modi sarkar.
He did a lot of campaigning for the state elections that followed in 2015 also conducting over 30 public meetings in Maharashtra. Seeing him spend so much time in different states for Vidhan Sabha elections, some critics even said jokingly “now may be we shall see Modi campaigning for city Corporation and Gram panchayat elections too! He seems to be their lucky mascot, their one-man-army for any elections!”
Why is this one man army missing in action in Nagpur now? Seems curious, when we have BJP national President Amit Shah calling any and every election result, including the recent Chandigarh Corporation polls a referendum and endorsement of Modi and his moves, like his radical decision of demonetization.
Is the truth actually just the opposite? Farmers of Nagpur district, many middle class people as also rich businessmen are unhappy with the after effects ( shocks) of banning of 1000 and old 500 notes and have begun expressing their feelings. At a recent conclave on demonetization held in Nagpur during the winter assembly of the Maharashtra govt. Finance Minister Mungantiwar was shocked when he was heckled by the audience shouting ‘Shame Shame’ when he tried to belittle the problems faced by people, specially farmers.
A leading industrialist of the area mentioned to NT in private that the business community has begun having doubts about their unstinted support to Modi up till now. “Some of Modiji’s speeches have been so anti-rich we are very disturbed” he said.
Ally Shiv Sena also has been very vocal in targeting Modi on the long and endless queues in front of banks and ATMs. Sena leader Neelam Gorhe when asked to speak on demonetization since no BJP leader was present on the dais had said ” it is too much to ask me to justify this move… a political party that splurged on multiple full page ads in 2014 speaking out against corruption seems a joke.”
There are reports that even RSS has expressed misgivings about people’s suffering and the many changes RBI keeps making in its policies every other day.
Are all these factors making city BJP leaders wary of going with Modi in the forthcoming local elections?
These polls are going to be very crucial for both CM Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in many AND different ways. They will be the first polls in the city after Fadnavis became C.M. The city BJP is leaving no stone unturned in promoting itself and Fadnavis to the media and people. The C.M. is to be seen at almost every public function/ party in the city.
We do get the feeling that it is HE and not Modi on whom the city BJP cadre is banking more for victory at the NMC polls come 2017.