Narendra Modi’s success in drubbing the Congress in Gujarat’s civic elections has left the BJP brass in awe, stoking fears of his foray into national politics after the 2012 state polls.
Modi’s “magic”, as BJP leaders noted, has prompted speculation about the race in the party ahead of the next parliamentary elections in 2014.
But Modi’s success has also perhaps left a heartburn.
Sushma Swaraj, who is seen as one of the front-runners for projection as prime minister candidate and a rival of Modi, was quick to underplay the “magic.” Her remark at a Patna news conference that Modi’s magic need not work everywhere (in response to a query on why he was kept out of Bihar) was seen in the context of bitter rivalry for the top slot.
“Modi’s magic and charisma have worked in Gujarat ... but it is not necessary that everybody’s magic works at every place. In Bihar, the magic of Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi is at the work ... and we are confident of our victory for carrying forward development,” Swaraj said.
“Nitishji has put no condition before us whether or not Narendra Modi should campaign in Bihar. The decision ...has been the sole discretion of BJP,” she added.
In his blog, Modi, who has always sought to underplay his future plans, said, “The era of caste-driven poisonous politics, the politics of appeasement is over ... The young hearts have started affecting the country’s politics.”