Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)
Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)

Buzzing now: Sanjay Raut questions Modi's return as PM; four Shinde MPs ready to flip?

A top RSS source confirmed that higher-ups in the organisation had been seriously exploring other names this time.

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday claimed that the RSS was not keen on Narendra Modi becoming the PM for a third time after the BJP failed to gain a majority in the Lok Sabha elections and was still exploring other options.

Raut said the 2024 mandate was against Modi and he should have humbly accepted it and stepped down. If despite this, Modi plans to go ahead and forms the government, it will not sustain for long.

"This time, the RSS is against making Modi as PM. It was exploring other options for PM," Raut alleged.

"Despite this negative mandate, if Modi tries to form the government that will not sustain for long and therefore he should step down. NDA alliance partners Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu have had bitter experiences of the Modi-Shah brand of vindictive politics. So, anything can happen in the coming days,” he went on to claim.

Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)
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What a top RSS source had to say

When contacted, one of the senior functionaries of RSS, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that higher-ups in the RSS had been seriously exploring other names this time.

"In the 2014 Lok Sabha, the BJP, under Modi's leadership, got more than a simple majority (282 seats) while in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP alone got 303 Lok Sabha seats. But in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the number went down to 240. So, it shows Modi's popularity is waning and there is a need to replace him," the source explained.

"A few names that did the rounds included those of Madhya Pradesh's ex-Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chavan, ex-Union Minister Rajnath Singh and that of Nitin Gadkari (the union Minister for Road Transport and Highways in the outgoing cabinet). However, nothing has been finalised yet," he said.

Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)
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He further added that RSS may ask those MPs in this Lok Sabha who are loyal to them to raise their voices against Modi to pressurise him to step down ceremoniously and pave the way for others.

The option is being deliberated upon, the RSS man said.

What BJP sources say

BJP sources said that Modi is very keen on a third term.

They said both Modi and Amit Shah had anticipated some opposition to the idea from the RSS. So, they smartly decided to first call an NDA meeting to choose Modi as the PM.

"However, as per procedure, the BJP has to choose Modi as their parliamentary leader and only then should have come the approval from the alliance partners. But here Modi and Shah have done it this way to show that the NDA alliance want Modi as PM and so the party too should fall in line. Things are developing and in the coming days, a clearer picture will emerge," he added.

Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)
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Shinde MPs ready to return to MVA?

In another interesting development, sources in the Shiv Sena (UBT) said that four out of the seven Lok Sabha MPs from CM Ekanth Shinde's Shiv Sena are ready to return to the MVA and support the INDIA alliance if the latter is in in a position to form the government at the Centre.

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