Some of those in the anti-Narendra Modi camp appear to be flocking towards NDA chairman L K Advani. Among them is Nitin Gadkari,who had once been forced out of BJP presidentship by Advani. Gadkari,who has fallen out with Modi,now has Advani backing as he attempts to take centrestage again.
Almost half a dozen senior leaders called on Advani last week to express their solidarity with him. According to a senior party general secretary,dissidents from Chhattisgarh,Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat et al are also lining up to meet him in Delhi. A senior state BJP leader who attended the internal meetings of the core committee said,Advani raised five valid questions before all-India BJP president Rajnath Singh,which have gone unanswered. Advani wanted the party to find suitable answers to those five questions before rushing to elevate Narendra Modi as the election campaign committee chief.
The questions reportedly asked by Advani were: Is the BJP going to announce Modi as the prime minister candidate for the 2014 elections?; If the party has taken this decision,has it taken NDA allies into confidence?; Has the BJP leadership considered the ramifications of Modis projection as PM or elevation to the election campaign committee on the overall politics in the 2014 elections?; Undoubtedly Modi has successfully led Gujarat in the past three elections,but has the BJP leadership factored in the difficulties of running a coalition at the Centre?; Why is the BJP taking hasty decisions without factoring other aspects of national concerns?.
Insiders in the central BJP parliament party revealed, At the core committee meeting,the central leadership led by Rajnath Singh could not give convincing answers to any of these questions. They all maintained that the popular mood in the party was to elevate Modi,that the decision at the moment was being taken to allow him to lead the central election campaign committee,and that the issue of prime ministership and equations with alliance partners would be dealt with later.
In the backdrop of the JD(U) breaking alliance with the BJP,the Advani camp is trying to prove that the senior leader was right.
In a damage control exercise,the Modi camp on Sunday fielded its leaders to take an aggressive stand against the JD(U).Modi supporter Gopin-ath Munde said,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is playing politics to appease the Muslim vote bank. Kumars decision to break ties with the BJP is a betrayal of the mandate given by the people in Bihar.
A senior leader who is a mediator between the BJP and RSS said,Notwithstanding the developments in Bihar,Modi will continue to lead the party campaign… Advani sho-uld not overlook the fact that Mohan Bhawat intervened to provide a passage to him to withdraw his resignations. But if the Advani camp stretches the matter beyond a point,it would be counter-productive.