Why Sushma looked sombre in Parliament

Sushma appears the one leader left out so far in Modi’s efforts to reach out to seniors.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 22, 2014 8:50 am

A sudden change in the seating arrangements at Parliament’s Central Hall Tuesday seemed to serve a pointer to the relative stature of seniors in the BJP. Five chairs stood at the podium but were reduced to three to accommodate only Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and L K Advani. The two for whom the other two chairs had presumably been meant, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, sat instead in the front row.

Sushma appears the one leader left out so far in Modi’s efforts to reach out to seniors. He has been consulting Jaitley, and called on Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi too Sunday. In contrast, it was Sushma who called on Modi at Gujarat Bhawan Monday. Before the apparent surrender, she had visited RSS number two Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Rajnath.

While including Modi in the party’s parliamentary board last year, one of the reasons Rajnath cited was seniority, with Modi having become a CM (in 2001) before Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan did. By that yardstick, Sushma had become a CM (of Delhi) in 1998 and was senior to Modi and even Rajnath (UP, 2001).

She was a minister in the first BJP government at the Centre in 1996. Modi had become BJP national secretary in 1995, before being made general secretary (organisation) in 1998. From 2001, he remained a CM while Sushma grew in stature and was made leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha in 2009 at Advani’s behest.

Sushma and Modi’s paths crossed when Modi emerged a contender for the PM candidature. Unlike Advani, Sushma did not go public about it but is said to have presented her objections to Rajnath. Top RSS leaders had to get Advani, Sushma and Rajnath together about a week before the formal announcement. Sushma retreated, but her branding as an opponent of Modi stuck, while Jaitley publicly rooted for Modi.

Now, the BJP majority has handed Modi all the aces, including deciding what position Sushma will hold. Her mood was noticeably sombre when she came forward to second Advani’s proposal to name Modi parliamentary party leader.

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First Published on: May 22, 2014 2:34 am
  1. B
    Bob Willis
    May 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    There may be pleasant surprises when Modi announces his cabinet. Sushma may get a very important portfolio. I am wondering with so many challenges ahead - starting from Defence Sector, Industries, Power and Foreign Relations, Technology, not to forget Infrastructure and Development is Modi going to have a deputy Prime Minister so that he can delegate at least two aspects while he focuses on the top 3 aspects. Never know, stay tuned.
    1. K
      May 22, 2014 at 4:38 am
      Sushama Swaraj did not have the recognition that Modi has and on that score Sushamaji is junior to him. Modiji's pority won the day for BJP and its allies. I doubt if Sushamaji had been in place of Modiji BJP would have won. I believe all other leaders of BJP should take hint control their egos and not create trouble for Modiji, the BJP and India.
      1. J
        May 22, 2014 at 8:39 am
        Sushma is as important as Mr.Modi. She worked for the RSS and BJP through her life. She cannot be ignored. She effectively managed the Parliament as Leader of Opposition and Deputy Leader of Opposition for the last 10 years. Sushma also should adjust herself with the present situation. Modi stature added some 75 seats to BJP led alliance. Whereever BJP did well, it has strong party organisation. If Modi's wave is true, they why there is no success in Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Kerala and West Bengal. These states do have BJP gr root organization.
        1. K
          Kuldip Shah
          May 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm
          I disagree with you. The "less number of seats below 200" was por news, that was fabricated media news in speculation of different possibilities. Do you have proof that she pra. Though internal politics was on display, LK and SS both have worked for party for their life. They can not be ignored. Modi should walk taking everyone on his side and that will be good for INDIA.
          1. L
            May 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm
            Modi will win over Sushma, Jayalalitha, Mamta all those who are against him today because his goal is to only develop India...and for that he knows he needs everyone's support..
            1. V
              V E
              May 22, 2014 at 7:32 am
              Undoubtedly she is a respected and devoted leader who has contributed much to BJP's growth. After the selection of PM-nominee by the party, she should have shed her egos and shared the election burden with her natural gusto and oratory skill. Just think. If only she had joined in Amethi (with voting in her Vidisha seat over by then), and backed up Irani, the result there could have been a landmark. She has many positives and should be positioned gainfully.
              1. c
                May 22, 2014 at 8:10 am
                what is the track record of Sushma ? Modi has 14 years of good governance experience.
                1. M
                  mukund phadnavis
                  May 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm
                  No body is disputing Sushma's stature. Modi speaks less. He may not hate even his rival but win over her. She will most probably be External Affairs minister. With reduced size of cabinet, Infrastructure is most valuable and vital portfolio. It will go to Gadkari or Amit Shah to execute time bound projects.
                  1. n
                    May 22, 2014 at 8:01 am
                    Let us hope the differences be put to rest and both work together for the country
                    1. D
                      Dharmavarapu Nagarjuna
                      May 22, 2014 at 8:49 am
                      No need to worry on this count. Sushma's stature will grow when she wheartedly supports the 'maa ki seva' that Modi has embarked upon. Both the country and BJP are equally ma to both of them. If Modi is excellent, Sushma is no less if not more.
                      1. L
                        May 22, 2014 at 7:27 am
                        SS and LK should be immediately expelled from BJP for the sake of party for long term. These are congress agents in BJP. They pra for less number of seats below 200 so that they can dictate terms to Modi
                        1. N
                          Narender Kommidi
                          May 22, 2014 at 11:54 am
                          Absolutely true.
                          1. R
                            Ravi Ranjan
                            May 22, 2014 at 4:35 am
                            Not only sombre Sushma looked distinctly crestfallen.The fault is her as she has not en able to read the mood of party cadres and the nation.
                            1. R
                              RSS Sevak
                              May 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm
                              J. Venkat, it is important for you to know that Tamil Nadu does not understand Hindi properly so a lot got lost in translation when Ms. Jayalalitha's team the AIADMK translated BJP's speeches in Tamil making her victorious while Did's team did similar acts in Bengal. Kerala has always been a bit biased to leftist with a lot dominated by the western religions. You are right that BJP does not have gr roots in the states you have discussed, but BJP will prove itself in time that you do not need gr root culture instead what you need is hard work, honesty and corruption free culture. There is no need to worry about Sushma, she will get a role suitable for her with mining role out of the question (meaning no mining role for her).
                              1. S
                                May 22, 2014 at 9:11 am
                                She is allegely connected to Mining barons the infamous Bellary brothers.
                                1. S
                                  May 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm
                                  just beating drums in parliament isnt enough, that BJP is doing since its inception. There need to be good will across which is a Vajpayee or Modi kind to sweep the seats. That only can bring more seats and it did.
                                  1. S
                                    May 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm
                                    you have to understand one thing which news always carried. Though there is potential from Modi wave there is no mechanism to capitalize. Thats the reason BJP did not gain in those states
                                    1. S
                                      May 22, 2014 at 7:24 am
                                      BJP would have won with any leader...due to inbency factor....the constant dolldrums in parliament by opposition which was major contirbution of Sushma...much before Modi' name crop up for PM post.These were the people who as opposition in Parliament cleared the path for BJP victory....Modi came in the end and ate the cake.
                                      1. S
                                        Subramanian Venkatraman
                                        May 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm
                                        Modi wave being absent in WB, Kerala, Odisha and Tamil Nadu was largely due to language problem. That is the reason why these States did not support also Congress very much. The few seats got by Congress in these States were also due to some local leaders of Congress, not by their national leaders.
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