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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  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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..
  6. 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.
  7. c
    May 22, 2014 at 8:10 am
    what is the track record of Sushma ? Modi has 14 years of good governance experience.
  8. 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.
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