iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 26, 2012
The BJP is focusing on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and the RSS for resolving its internal crisis, rather than on contemplated disciplinary action against rebels such as Ram Jethmalani.
BJP insiders say the party is looking at the immense possibility of an “enhanced role” for Modi soon after he wins a third term for the party in the Gujarat polls.

So, will he take charge of the party's campaign for the next Lok Sabha polls? Will he be projected as the BJP’s face, or will he remain one of the key faces to enthuse cadres?

A debate on these questions has already begun in BJP circles. No one is sure what role Modi will eventually assume, but many BJP leaders expect that he will be “propelled” forward by “circumstances” and the RSS to shift to the central stage.

The timing of the Lok Sabha polls will also play a significant role in this regard, say BJP leaders.

If the polls happen earlier than the scheduled dates, it would mean “fast-forwarding” of internal changes. A clearer picture will, however, emerge by the middle of January, BJP insiders say. “An impressive win in Gujarat will only increase the clamour for Modi's  leadership among the cadres,” said a BJP functionary.

Along with Modi, the roles of leaders of opposition Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and former BJP chief Rajnath Singh have also become very important in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, according to BJP and Sangh sources.

Interestingly, Sangh sources also say that Modi's ties with the RSS — the parent body of the party — has undergone a sea change. They are on the upswing, and a “perfect understanding” appeared to have been reached between him and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

So far, the RSS has not shown any inclination to dump BJP chief Nitin Gadkari. The Sangh brass continues to investigate the “conspiracy” angles to the “campaign” against him, rather than assess the “damage” to the BJP’s image. There also appears to be no serious exercise by the RSS to look for a successor.