As Narendra Modi consults leaders to pick a team that will be sworn in along with him Monday, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad says Modi will always take the final call on that and rules out any interference by the RSS in governance. Excerpts from an interview to D K Singh.
Are all senior BJP leaders reconciled to the idea of Modi as PM?
Publicly, all have acknowledged Modiji as our leader and the country’s PM. Advaniji, at the national council meeting in Delhi, publicly blessed him, as have other leaders. People have trusted Modiji enormously and his role in piloting this victory is truly enormous.
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How do you think Modi’s government will be different from Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s?
It will be a decisive government. Atalji was decisive, too, but there were compulsions of coalition politics at times.
What does this absolute majority mean for the BJP, ideologically and organisationally?
It means greater energy, enthusiasm, and inspiration for BJP cadres, which will have a ripple effect everywhere, even in places where the BJP is at present weak. The BJP has become the principal pole in the country’s politics. The enormity of this victory… demolishes all conventional barriers in the electoral calculus of religion, caste and community. Lalu, Nitish, Mulayam, Mayawati, Farooq, Sharad Pawar, all have got sidelined.
Will the RSS have a role in the Modi government?
There is a larger emotional connect with the RSS. In terms of day-to-day functioning and political decision-making, the RSS doesn’t interfere. As the leader, and that too with such a massive mandate, Modiji will always take the final call in the formation of his cabinet.
Would the results have been different had the Congress not projected Rahul Gandhi as de facto PM candidate? What if it was Sonia Gandhi or P Chidambaram?
It would not have mattered. The central theme of the results is that the politics of dynasty and entitlements has been rejected. The politics of hard work, accomplishments based on governance has won because that generated real hope for India to be redeemed.