Modi and Team Cannot Afford to Sleep
By Ravi Shankar
Published: 18th May 2014 08:47:50 AM
NEW DELHI: When Narendra Modi takes over as Prime Minister, three BJP stalwarts will join him to make the team which will implement Modi’s dream of India. A delivery mechanisms will have to put in place with persons specially chosen for their core experience in respective fields.
Advising him on making the list will be Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari. The selection criteria would be simple, both for the Cabinet and the bureaucracy. Credibility, Eligibility, Acceptability and of course Loyalty. Accountability, that too time bound, is a must. Modi is also unlikely to allow anyone with prime ministerial ambitions to part of his government or political team.
Rajnath Singh is Modi’s Great Implementer and has the resume to prove it. His main job will be to use his formidable skills to make the organisation work for the Government. Rajnath took a gamble of Modi, and it has paid off since his hold over the party is complete. His unstinting backing for Modi was vindicated and he will be giving the political inputs on the background, integrity and capability of every individual who would be part of the Modi government. His task would be to refashion the BJP to back the leader and the government. His organisational capabilities would be put into play as the party would want to seize power in states like Bihar, Assam and Maharashtra where the party’s performance was outstanding. UP would be a core target since the BJP knows the party that holds UP and Bihar governs India as the recent elections have proved.
This is where Amit Shah—Modi’s eyes and ears—steps in. The cases against him in Gujarat would stand in his way of joining the government, but his revitalisation of a demoralised party in Uttar Pradesh, leading it to victory with a record 72 seats rewrote the script of the caste polarised state. The master strategist who parachuted into UP had immediately gone into action, taking snap decisions, collecting feedback, meting workers and leaders from all over—a new experience for the partymen there. He is already preparing for the Assembly polls because without UP and Bihar in the BJP’s pocket, Modi’s alternate vision for India would not succeed. According to a senior BJP leader, the Maharashtra unit had requested party president Rajnath Singh to rope in Shah to put the party, plagued by groupism, together. “We have received clear signals that the request will be accepted soon,” the leader said.
Helping Modi in this mission is the suave and ever-smiling Nitin Gadkari. He has the mind and style of a CEO—after all, he runs the multicrore co-operative Purti group. Gadkari grasps fresh ideas quickly and is known for asking for reports on various issues, collecting data and analysing it, conducting surveys and creating and interacting with think tanks. Corporates find him a politician who can grasp industry’s concerns, something Modi himself is a master at. It was Gadkari who proposed the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna when Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and his experience in creating infrastructure will be invaluable to Modi. Politically, being close to the RSS, he will also act as a bridge between the old guard and Modi’s team. Combined, the three will make a formidable team to get the party, the establishment and the states work to further Dream, Modi.
Modi has been often dismissed as a novice to Delhi politics. But he has spent 12 years in the political hustle-bustle of the much politicised city and his astuteness cannot be underestimated. The campaign that brought him to New Delhi was gruelling—300,000 kilometers to attend 477 ralliies and 5187 events all over the country. Yet after each day’s campaign ghot over, Modi would be ready for his television interview of the night. Barely had he woken up, the next interview would have already been lined up, usually before dawn. But the man would look as fresh as ever, his white beard trimmed neatly, the creases in his kurta sleeve sharp enough to slice through any opposition and not a hair out of place. Modi cannot sleep. He has to wake up India. His team, driven by an indefatigable taskmaster, is unlikely to get their forty winks either.
(with bureau inputs)
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