BJP reinvented under Narendra Modi, says Sushil Modi; releases book on party
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BJP reinvented under Narendra Modi, says Sushil Modi; releases book on party

‘How the BJP wins’, by Hindustan Times associate editor Prashant Jha, offers an insight into the way the BJP had strategized for elections and how it had embraced castes and classes to extend itself to new areas.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2017 21:19 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Dy CM Sushil Modi,Author Prashant Jha,How the BJP wins
Bihar deputy CM Sushil Modi (centre) releasing Prashant Jha’s book, ‘How the BJP wins’, in Patna on Friday. (AP Dube/HT photo)

If a book on the election strategy of a political party gets endorsed by a senior leader of the party, it clearly shows the serious work that has gone into it.

Perhaps, that explains ‘How the BJP wins’, a book written by Hindustan Times associate editor Prashant Jha and released by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, at the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) on Friday.

The book has a lot to offer by way of an insight into the way BJP has strategized for elections (in recent years), how it has reinvented itself, riding the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how it had embraced multiple castes and classes to extend itself to new areas, the way its election apparatus works, and much more.

“Things have been brilliantly analysed in the book and I commend Jha for his work. I or anyone else may not be one on facts, but the essence the book has captured is indeed praiseworthy, said Sushil Modi, describing Narendra Modi as a visionary leader with outstanding communication skills and ready to take risks for the larger good.

Maintaining that in a caste conscious society like the one in large parts of India, in which social equations were a reality, Sushil Modi admitted that the bJP’s caste profile had changed from a ‘Bania-Brahmin party’ to an all-inclusive one.

“For winning elections, two-three castes cannot do, nor can money alone ensure victory. When Lalu Prasad won (in the 1990s up to mid 2000s), he had the backing of several caste groups. When Congress ruled, it, too, got support from a cross-section of the people. Caste dynamics is always important,” he said.

The Bihar deputy CM said the pro-poor approach of the BJP may have a lot to do with the lessons it had learned along the way.

Sushil Modi said that at a time when most political leaders lacked credibility, Narendra Modi’s credibility was his strength, which was amply proved after demonetization when people stood in long queues without creating any ruckus, as they had faith in the intent of their leader.

On the assertion in the book that at present therewas a great deal of synergy between the BJP and the RSS, Sushil Modi said that the Prime Minister was a pragmatic leader with roots in ideology. “It was said during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s time that the people were happy with him, but not the party workers. Today, there is greater synergy between rank and file,” he added.

At the outset, ADRI member secretary Shaibal Gupta praised Jha for beautifully describing the ‘top-down and bottom-up’ strategy of the BJP and how it was using various tools and combinations to constantly reinvent itself in accordance with the situation.

Jha, in his address, said if the BJP had, after its rout in the 2009 Lok Sabha poll, become a dominant force, it was a result of a number of factors, which he gathered in course of his election coverage across the country.

“It’[s about image, messaging, re-positioning, developing a well-oiled election apparatus, expanding social base and creating new social engineering and even making deft use of lies and deceit to create the right build-up and maintaining synergy with the RSS,” he said.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad Khan, however, said that the BJP had remained stuck with its core issues and had benefited from far too many mistakes by its opponents. “On the larger screen, things may not look different, but on smaller screen things have started to change for the BJP,” he added.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 21:13 IST