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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

The political downfall of BJP’s management guru

Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 23, 2013
First Published: 23:36 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:39 IST(23/1/2013)

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari had tried to introduce a managerial language in politics, calling himself a ‘social entrepreneur’. Ironically, it was this very image that led to his political downfall. 

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The party, made to resemble a corporate house or an NGO under Gadkari, now finds itself in a more politically familiar situation under the earthy Rajnath Singh. A quintessential paternalistic Hindi heartland politician, Singh sees himself as a farmer  — his speeches replete with traditional anecdotes.

For Gadkari, politics meant undertaking surveys and research, asking political activists to set up enterprises and generate employment, and training political workers in management and e-governance.

Gadkari often confused capitalism’s trickle-down effect for Antyodaya, a non-capitalist doctrine of wealth redistribution bottom-up. His website still waxes eloquent on his ‘entrepreneurship’. It says: “Not one to limit himself to just believing and doing nothing, he embarked on an ambitious project of launching the Purti Group, which took up sugar production and efficiently utilised the by-products — power and ethanol."
Meanwhile, 24 companies linked to Purti Group were found to have bogus addresses in an inquiry on Tuesday.

Singh, however, brings politics back to familiar territory. His political discourse is aimed at the farmer, suited more to the earthy, socialist-sounding political language of UP and Bihar. Though not a hardliner, he believes in maintaining the BJP's ideological distinctiveness.


Rajnath’s elevation to impact UP
Lucknow: Rajnath Singh’s elevation as the national BJP chief is bound to impact politics in the 80-MP Uttar Pradesh (UP) where Singh has recently patched up with his once formidable foe — Kalyan Singh. UP is the home state of Singh, and he would now be tasked with the responsibility of shoring the party’s fortunes there.

Though Kalyan was quick to welcome Rajnath’s appointment, he did not seem to have any inkling of the development. On January 21, while he shared the stage with Rajnath Singh at the Lucknow rally, Kalyan had publicly congratulated Gadkari “in advance” for his second term as BJP chief. HTC, Lucknow


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