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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Modi 2014 or earlier




This morning, Times Now telecast unedifying images of Rajnath Singh grimacing in irritation when asked the question about Narendra Modi as the successor to LK Advani. The panelists on the show had quite a laugh at Rajnath's apparent discomfiture. Sitting next to me in the panel, Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to dodge the question, somewhat unsuccessfully.

The BJP leaders may have a right to be a little concerned that the Modi issue somehow undermines Advani. It may even make it look that Advani is the grudging choice and that Modi is the "real" leader. At least this is what the Congress claims.

Judged in terms of tactical positioning the BJP's embarrassment is understandable. But they have created the embarrassment by trying to pretend that the media has no right to speculate about a post-Advani situation.

The Congress isn't embarrassed when Rahul Gandhi is projected as the future leader. The party does so quite openly in its poll messages.

Wherever I have travelled throughout India, BJP workers are less inhibited. They see Modi as the leader for the next election. The BJP HQ in Delhi has been flooded with requests from candidates requesting Modi's presence in their constituencies.

The appeal of Advani and Modi are different. Advani is the elder statesman; Modi is an inspiration.

The BJP may rightly feel that this issue can't be raised in the middle of an election but they can't duck this question indefinitely. Nor can some nervous leaders try to derail Modi's natural progression to the top job. Unless they can show that someone else is better suited.

As a BJP supporter who has tremendous respect for Advani--he was my inspiration in the 1990s--I have no hesitation in saying that the future belongs to Modi.

If Advani becomes PM he is entitled to a full term in office. He will have my full and unstinting support. There can be no question of Modi replacing a popularly elected PM.

Yet, when it comes to the next election in 2014 or earlier, my vote is unwaveringly for Narendra Modi.

42 comments:

iamfordemocracy said...

BJP leaders never ever prepare for their media presentation. Leaders like Rajnath Singh and Advani probably believe that accepting feedback and comments from younger people who have studied media and media management is below their dignity.

There are dozens of ways in which the leadership debate could be handled. Everytime it comes up, BJP can put forward half a dozen names and claim that any of them could be a good leader because each has been an MP many times -- has attended the house and asked questions and so on. In fact use the discussion as an opportunity to highlight every small issue where Rahul Gandhi can be exposed as a carefree or careless politician.

I get frustrated in watching these debates where BJP leaders appear angry and sulking and media guys tease them no end. It is time BJP hands over media management to younger guys. How about Parrikar of Goa (or is he from Karnataka?)? He will turn it around by deft planning. What say?

socal said...

I doubt even Advani is thinking about continuing beyond 2014, certainly not in active politics. Being the avant garde of BJP's next gen, who else but Modi is going to be their PM candidate. I can't imagine anyone else. Rajnath Singh should prove himself first in his own backyard if he wishes to be taken seriously. Since I don't see that happening anytime soon, he should do the next honorable thing and get out of Modi's way. The day BJP's polity ceases to be a meritocracy is the day it will loose its supporters, like myself. Rajnath Singh doesn't seem to fit the billing so far.

iamfordemocracy said...

There is another point I failed to mention before. BJP must have 5-6 leaders in the wings. It should not be Modi alone. There is too much risk of the entire nationalistic agenda - the greater good of the law-abiding people not belonging to aggresive religions - being sacrificed should that single leader suffer. BJP spokespersons should be encouraged to mention many different names. Make it a BJP vs. BJP media show, not BJP vs. others. Like Obama and Hillary, the leaders can come together once the top objective is achieved.

Deepthi Khariwala said...

of course, who else other than Mahatma Modi. He will be 63 or 64 at that time and has all the abilties to be India's PM for 15 years at least.

We are with you Chotte Sardar.

I am blushing even at the thought of that.

ramana said...

Swapanda:

You eloquence is unmatched.

I endorse every word of it. I would love to know what the impact has been since this story broke. It would be interesting to see any trends in the just concluded 3rd Phase.

I have been asking for Modiji as deputy PM (when BJP wins on it own) for almost six months. The very announcement would have added 50+ seats to BJP.

Well sometimes all you need is a crazy idea. Isn't politics about clever ideas ? :-)

ayush said...

after reading your blog i went to the times now website to see the actual video, on playing it the first 10 seconds were an "oficial" congress add " meni na hindu hoon na .... bharat ke liye vote kare congress ko vote kare " , that in itself makes times now a self prefossed congress mouthpiece playing their advertizements on their web site videos, they hv lost whatever credibility they had left.

coming to the actual video, i think that irritation was a genuine irritation of an Old Man who has accepted his fate as a nobody as far as leadership is concerned in a post advani BJP , I dont think there is anyway there can be anyone other than Modi for 2014 or earlier as you say, I Dont think the media needs to get statements from BJP leaders or these leaders to be defensive about this, In fact i wont be surprised to see Modi immediately getting a very important central role in the event of NDA coming to power .

Probably after Indira Gandhi, Modi is the only leader who has that kind of a universal and hypnotic appeal among politicians.

Dr. D Bhide said...

Many a BJP leader needs Media Management 101 course. I have seen Rajnath and others not looking straight in the camera, turning their heads sideways when asked an uncomfortable question etc.

They need to be trained by showing them their own prior video interviews and helping them understand unspoken clues that their body language gives to an average spectator. 90+% of communication is body language and 10-% is spoken communication.

Some one has to draw the line that EVERY person representing BJP on video anywhere has to have finished a week long course followed by annual 2 day refresher. Non-BJP media experts should evaluate them and only those who pass should continue to speak on behalf of the party on Video.

Dr. D Bhide said...

My hunch is that after the Golden Jubilee celebrations in Gujarat are over in 2010, some time in 2011 or 2012, LK Advani the PM will / should appoint Na Mo as Deputy PM with a new portfolio against Corruption that should include streamlining of Government Procurement processes for ALL departments to eliminate loopholes that get exploited. I am sure he will expose MANY politicians (probably including some BJP folks) and bureaucrats.

ProudIndian said...

Mr Swapan,
I admire your candour in explicitly putting forth your support for Mr. Modi.
However why should we wait for 2014 ? Why are you trying to prop-up a second-best solution on the nation. As you have written, Modi is an inspirational leader in these times & only he can do justice to our long-repressed aspirations.Advani cant even win Ahmedabad LS election without his help.
You must use your good offices in BJP HQ to start a campaign to promote Modi . Moreover, I am sure Advaniji shall readily concede that this election's mandate has been for Mr Modi & not for himself.

Vijay said...

Mr Dasgupta,

I'd much rather see Arun Jaitley as a future Prime Ministerial candidate than Narendra Modi. Despite demonstrating effortless political intellect and the requisite ambition and grit - Jaitley seems to be content with being a second-rung leader. There was speculation that he would run for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi but nothing happened.

Why isn't Jaitley making more of an effort to position himself for the top job? Is this part of a wider strategy or is he just comfortable being a lawyer-politician for the rest of his life?

neo_reloaded said...

swapan da,
a wonderfully articulated article..no one else could have laid out the issue better..
an innocent question: 'ye sirf aapki rai hai ki party leadership ki bhi???' :)

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the phase 3 trends. When will you post it? I want to add that you were great when you managed to create an uproar in parliament by pointing out that the Commies were loyal to China.

A note to iamfordemocracy: No one cares about your long pieces of unsolicited advice on various blogs that has taken the form of rants. We come here to read Swapan Dasgupta's views, not yours. Just as we go to Rajeev Srinivasan's blog to read his views. I believe you were ejected from there. You should learn to give genuine feedback instead of posting your useless and unsolicited advice on how others should behave. If you believe you have a better way of doing things, go ahead and do it. Don't try to advice others with your useless and low quality ideas. If you believe your ideas are better than those of Swapan Dasgupta's, please set up your own blog.

The other way is to act in a decent manner and provide genuine comments. Trust me, you're deluding yourself by believing that Hindus really need your ideas and will be impressed by your suggestions on various blogs on how we should behave. And yes, I am a real activist who works in the field and the most common kind of people who send me emails are people like you who provide useless and unsolicited advice without ever doing anything.

parasuram81 said...

Well..as always ur bang on target..i think BJP would do well to have some voluble spokespersons who can atleast be forceful and convincing ,right now there have been more goofups than credible answers..who set the agenda rather than the other way around.far too much defensiveness has been noticed about Modi in some quarters,while on the other hand the congress has gotten away with murder more times than not..given its actual credibility..of course the pathetically biased media does its bit though.More power to you Swapanda! cheers!!

manojk said...

Swapanji

You are like oasis in the desert of pro-Congress crony media: Balanced, non-emotional and objective.

Please forward this information to some one in BJP and make the dynasty accountable to Indian people. We need to investigate this.

http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20090428&fname=puri&sid=1

COMMENT
Is Sonia Above Questioning?

If the BJP is serious about fighting corruption there is no dearth of issues. Take the case of 'payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi' ...

Dr. Yevgeniya Albats is a Soviet journalist who …was appointed as member of the official KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in 1991. She had full access to secret files of the KGB. She authored a book, The State within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia …. Dr. Albats disclosed in her book that KGB chief Victor Chebrikov in December 1985 had sought in writing from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), ‘authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.’ CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No. 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family, and ‘have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No. 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.’

"In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for ‘Soviet ideological interest’. The Hindu of July 4, 1992 carried this report….In November 1991 the respected Swiss magazine, Schweitzer Illustrate, published a report alleging that Rajiv Gandhi had 2.5 billion Swiss francs, equivalent roughly to two billion US dollars, in numbered Swiss bank accounts....Surely, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi owes herself and the nation an emphatic and effective rebuttal of the Albats charges?"

On November 8 2006 I again wrote: "…Until now there has been only deafening silence from Mrs. Gandhi and the Congress party….If the Albats allegation published in a reputed research book is false, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should promptly deny it. Otherwise, her silence could be perceived as assent."

manojk said...

http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20090428&fname=puri&sid=1

Dr. Yevgeniya Albats is a Soviet journalist who …was appointed as member of the official KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in 1991. She had full access to secret files of the KGB. She authored a book, The State within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia …. Dr. Albats disclosed in her book that KGB chief Victor Chebrikov in December 1985 had sought in writing from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), ‘authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.’ CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No. 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family, and ‘have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No. 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.’

"In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for ‘Soviet ideological interest’. The Hindu of July 4, 1992 carried this report….In November 1991 the respected Swiss magazine, Schweitzer Illustrate, published a report alleging that Rajiv Gandhi had 2.5 billion Swiss francs, equivalent roughly to two billion US dollars, in numbered Swiss bank accounts....Surely, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi owes herself and the nation an emphatic and effective rebuttal of the Albats charges?"

On November 8 2006 I again wrote: "…Until now there has been only deafening silence from Mrs. Gandhi and the Congress party….If the Albats allegation published in a reputed research book is false, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should promptly deny it. Otherwise, her silence could be perceived as assent."

Ghost Writer said...

Dr. Dasgupta,
Succession Planning is a more tricky in the BJP than it is in the Congress, where the Gandhi family member always has – what Manmohan Singh called – the first right to resources. Hence the discomfiture of the BJP is born of a virtue, it actually allows for leadership to emerge from the below.
As opposed to “nominating” your chosen successor, why don’t you ask for some sort of primary system in the BJP? It will render the “who next” question moot. BJP folks can simply parry the question by deferring to their democratic inner-party system. In times of contention (for e.g. Madan Lal Khurana vs. Sahib Singh Verma) it will resolve questions of who to project as leaders better. In times of non-contention (for e.g. Advani’s run for PM this year) it will obviate any questions as nobody will battle with the agreed leader in the primary.
Are you not tired of the way tickets and other goodies are doled-out by the two major parties? In the Congress it takes the name of the “high command” – in the BJP they spin it as the “blessings of the elders”. Why not let party workers decide?

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, Do you have the phase 3 trends? I was reading reports of Congress making gains in MP and Karnataka.

Thanks.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Rajnath grimacing is a character certificate for Rajnath Singh and not of BJP. I am reminded of a very charged debate in Calcutta Club when Narendra Modi was one of the speakers. You should have seen the reception he got, the audience connect with him and no wonder he won hands down in the debate too.

However Swapan, where Narendra Modi has to win - is to win over the hearts and minds of women. And I was having a very interesting discussion with some learned women about 2014 election and choices. The hypothetical situation I had given them:

a) You have no choice but to cast a vote
b) For not casting you will be jailed for a year
c) The choice is Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi

Almost all the women chose Rahul Gandhi.

At which point I put in the KGB accounts - real money being given to the Gandhi family since 1971. Loot of Indian money into laundered money abroad. Whereas Modi is clean and for India.

Almost all, but grudingly, changed towards Modi.

The task is therefore cut out for BJP. It has to be more than development to lure the women towards Modi.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Also Swapan,

When a sniper takes aim his job is to take out the signals guy first and then the leader of the platoon. And ensure a shot goes through the signals equipment, destroying communication with HQ.

Now, if we were to take it forward logically, then Modi will be like the "signals guy". If he were to fall - who next? what next?

blogger said...

I am sure this must be the video you are talking about Swapan bhai: http://www.timesnow.tv/Irritated-Rajnath-evades-Modi-question/videoshow/4315077.cms

And I agree with you Ayush, it is so annoying to see KKKangress Ad on Times Now. They always talk about dividing and fake secularism. BS!

I have a question for you Swapan bhai. I am disgusted at the fact that there was only 45% turnout in Mumbai! If something as big as 26/11 terrorist attack doesn't compel people to vote for change and they make silliest excuses of "heat wave", God knows what will?! What do you say?

Ram said...

Swapanda,

I find it difficult to foresee a scenario where Narendra Modi could become Prime Minister of India, unless BJP gets a majority on its own. This doesnt seem likely for the foreseeable future. If BJP were to project Modi as its PM, it will lose what little allies that it has today. Even today, Nitish Kumar (JD-U) is considering severing ties with BJP post the elections.

The state of the party in large parts of the country is pathetic. I live in Secunderabad & I hardly see any effort by BJP to build its base. Media reports seem to indicate that the situation is not much different in other states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal. With Orissa & UP only marginally better. I think it is a scandal that BJP has let its position in UP deteriorate so much.

BJP needs to look within & fix its weaknesses both as a party & improve its acceptability to allies. I also think BJP should go in for an open primary based system to both attract new people into the party & also identify leaders. That is the only way to build the party in states where it is lagging behind.

Maybe I'm wrong, or being too pessimistic here, but I think to believe Modi can become Prime Minister, we are only deluding ourselves.

Ram

iamfordemocracy said...

To anonymous who commented on my comments. You are right that Rajeev censors all my comments. Just now, I will assume my comments are a sin and refrain from posting here till election results are out, but do read the next para and post your views about this on my blog - not on this blog for the sake of propriety.

Please let me know why you believe that my comments are raves and rants, and yours, pearls of wisdom. Also, credit to you for working in the field but have you ever thought why hindus are suffering in India and around you while guys like you are working?

I do have a blog and you can post your views there.

blogger said...

US State Dept Report April 2009: India THE most Terror afflicted country.

KKKangress's blessing above!

Advani for PM (now)! Modi is next! Vote for BJP!

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Swapan,

Gen Patraeus is saying the following 3 points in his recent interview to FOX:

1. Next two weeks are critical to determining whether the Pakistani government will survive. The Pakistanis have run out of excuses" and are "finally getting serious" about combating the threat from Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists operating out of Northwest Pakistan, the general added.

2. The Pakistani army, led by Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, is "superior" to the civilian government, led by President Ali Zardari, and could conceivably survive even if Zardari's government falls to the Taliban.


3. Even were Zardari's government to fall, it was still conceivable that Kayani's army could maintain control over the nuclear arsenal.

Wonder if BJP is ok with the assessment - specially points 2 & 3. I think its way to serious and elections are muddying foreign policy & military issues at hand.

I am not at all happy if points 2 & 3 were to come about.

Kumar Rakesh said...

Hi,
To put it bluntly, Rajnath Singh is an embarassment for the party he heads. He has no media savvy but what is more troubling is that he makes no attempt for improvement. His off-putting mannerisms are hardly the best advertisement for BJP to floating voters.

Swami said...

When is trend for phase 3 coming??

Anonymous said...

swapan da, where are the phase 3 trends ??
thanks.

Ajay said...

Swapanji,
Eagerly awaiting your phase 3 trends? How does it look for the BJP in its strongholds?

And what do you think of Ram's valid comments on the difficulties of Modi (or for that matter Advani) getting elected PM given that the BJP/NDA is nowhere in the crucial states of TN, WB, Kerala, AP which account for 145 seats and only marginally present in UP and Orissa which account for 110 seats? That essentially means that the NDA has to win 90% of the remaining seats in the country to form the government. Getting and keeping allies for Modi in 2014 could be difficult. As would getting allies this year too, even assuming the NDA reaches, a best case scenario, 220.

Your take?

Vijay said...

Well, Anonymous.. the comments space is there for commenting. Rajeev Srinivasan himself laments the lack of discussions on his blog. Because that's what makes it interesting.

Dhruv said...

Rajnath Singh should read the flow and accept Modi as his leader. He stands no-where in front of Modi .... Almost all the BJP leaders have rightly accepted him as their future leader ....

Nitish Kumar or no Nitish Kumar , any other ally or not.. let them go where they want .. but BJP should elect Modi as their leader when Advani retires .... That is in the interest of the BJP and the nation.

parasuram81 said...

Dear Swapanda
Wanted to ask u this earlier ,I have seen reports that Naveen Patnaik had made up his mind mcuh before the seat sharing talks and that the prime mover of this is Jay Panda,BJD's Delhi face as it were.Also since he is considered close to Rahul Gandhi and his family,apparently Mr.Pawar and Mrs.Gandhi held back door negotiations for a post-poll understanding.This makes sense now that the mandate appears to be fractured.Dont you think BJP has been caught off-guard by these wicked machinations..Please throw some light on this..

Arvind said...

Though I respect and admire Modi, I do not believe that a single person can change things. Change always has to be systemic for it to succeed and be sustainable. Reform the institutions and things will automatically improve.

So I agree with someone who said that one should NOT view Modi as THE single leader who can do things.

By the way why is the media always trying to create split in the BJP (newsflash: it aint gonna happen) and why do they have so much hatred for BJP? Is it the fact that many in BJP do not (or will not??) speak in "fluent" English like them and so we need to be condescending to these "country bumpkins"? Or is it because many of them are too polite and hence can be taken advantage of?

Interestingly a similar attitude is shown by Congress "elites" like Kapil Sibal who think they know everything and others are dumb. The sheer contrast with someone like ABV is striking!! What a great PM he was for India.

Echohum said...

Regardless of where one stands in a polity fractured like never before and an election with party lines unprecedentedly blurred, few can question Mr Modi's relevance to any debate on our nation's future. Even those that shudder at his continued hold over 'Gandhi's Gujarat' cannot deny that he is here to stay, and clearly the frontrunner in succession sweepstakes in one of our two national mainstream parties. Yet, it does seem a bit puerile for the party itself to shy away from engaging the electorate on this question - especially given its potential impact on the youth vote. Granted that the latter has stayed unaltered in percentage terms over the years, but a larger mobilization here has immediate and long term benefit. Arguably for this if for no other reason, Mr Modi needs much sharper and visible positioning.

Swapan Dasgupta said...

I will post the Phase 3 trends by this evening. I was quite busy in the past two days.

Deepak said...

Please post BJP's position in phase 4 along with Phase 3 trends. Waiting since long for phase 3 trends.

Arun said...

Just to add to what Ajay and Ram said,

I am quite frustrated to see the lack of effort by the BJP in the southern states, UP and Orissa.

I spoke to a local RSS operative here in Hyderabad and when I put the question of BJP's lack of presence in Andhra Pradesh, he put the blame on the alliance with TDP and said Naidu wiped them out, if that is the case what has the BJP done over the last 5 years? Why is Bandaru Dattareya still managing things after so many years with very little to show for it.

There was a lot of support and goodwill for the BJP when they came to power in Karnataka last year but since then I only hear complaints from all my relatives there about how badly the state in general and Bangalore in particular is being managed.

As a staunch BJP supporter it worries me as I am fine with the party losing the present election as long as it's building it's base in all these states but I am worried that's not happening.

Gujarat Gagan said...

Waiting for phase three. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

iamfordemocracy, you miss my point. i never said my posts contain pearls of wisdom. i said yours are rants. we come here to read swapan dasgupta's views, not yours. you need to give space to the owners of each blog instead of haranguing them and telling them what to do. your comments are the equivalent of the person who in the Q&A session of every meeting gives a long 10 minute speech boring everyone else and embarrassing the organizers while the person who does this thinks the whole world is fascinated by his views (you must be one of them).

why don't you become a real activist and set an example on how things should be done? if you are incapable of doing that, you should respect others who have achieved more than you. your advice is worthless if it has not made you a successful politician. get it?

Meenakshi said...

I too vote for Modi as the next PM candidate. Why should the BJP be so bothered about the comments of the Congress or the media or for that matter even any alliance partner? We know the difference between L.K Advani & MMS, we also know the difference between Modi and Rahul. The media can be happy fooling itself and its political masters.

Anonymous said...

Most of the swiss bank accounts from congress party since they are ruling from last 125 years
Most of the corrupted people from congress party in last 65 years
Richest politician in India from congress party
Big corruptions cases identified in congress government in last 65 years

But still I dont understand how come this party elected every time

Now people should give importance to their vote and select right party or right candidate. We have seen in past since congress politicians are rich, they normally win election by spending money. People should understand whatever money they take to vote candidate, will be looted by polictican through corruption cases like 2g scam, olympic scam etc.

BJP is 100 times better than congress since they give respect to the nation and their leaders less involved in corruption compare to congress

As per current survey from media, two best chief minister of india for developement is from BJP alliance

1. Narendra Modi
2. Nitish Kumar

Anonymous said...

Most of the swiss bank accounts from congress party since they are ruling from last 125 years
Most of the corrupted people from congress party in last 65 years
Richest politician in India from congress party
Big corruptions cases identified in congress government in last 65 years

But still I dont understand how come this party elected every time

Now people should give importance to their vote and select right party or right candidate. We have seen in past since congress politicians are rich, they normally win election by spending money. People should understand whatever money they take to vote candidate, will be looted by polictican through corruption cases like 2g scam, olympic scam etc.

BJP is 100 times better than congress since they give respect to the nation and their leaders less involved in corruption compare to congress

As per current survey from media, two best chief minister of india for developement is from BJP alliance

1. Narendra Modi
2. Nitish Kumar

Anonymous said...

As someone who was in Gujarat when Narender Modi benignly presided over the pogrom following the Godhra incidentI wonder whether he will be acceptable to allies of the BJP as a Prime Ministerial candidate.Even people like Nitish Kumar are chary of being associated with him.His only chance is if the BJP gets a majority on its own-an unlikely eventuality.It is one thing to be an effective Chief Minister and altogether a different cup of tea to be a PM.Having quite closely followed Modi's style of functioning--mostly autocratic, one wonders whether he has it in him to be a PM a post that require a more benevolent style of functioning given the pulls and pressures of a country as diverse as ours.This apart unfortunatly for Modi the ghost of the post Godhra pogrom will haunt him particularly when he goes abroad.