As BJP’s prime ministerial contender Narendra Modi arrived at Goa’s Dabolim airport to attend the BJP’s national executive meet on Friday, met by Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar and other leaders, he had the poise of a victor making his triumphant entry into the promised land.
The crowd’s applause was deafening, and the Gujarat Chief Minister, dressed in a blue, trademark half-sleeved kurta clutching a bouquet of red roses and encircled by black cat commandos wielding automatic rifles had the bearing of Caesar come to claim the throne. Saffron buntings flapped in the breeze and the chant of ‘Modi Ko Lao’ rent the air. As he stood on the footboard of the Scorpio in the midst of the throng, he showed the V sign instead of waving to the crowd, as normally leaders do. It signified his victory over adversaries. It was obvious that he had come to Goa with a clear agenda — come what may, he would win the battle of perception and for leadership; as well as the war against his enemies within the party. He had the script ready and the actors too.
Modi’s agenda to come to power is clear. First he would impose discipline in the BJP, seen today as a party divided. He would then take the party back to basics, from where it had strayed into elitist politics. His ideological Hindutva stand is unabashed. His stance against terrorism would win him support. For a leader accused of being anti-minority, Modi plans to bring Muslims into an economic partnership than encourage religious polarisation.