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Party rivals from Bihar scuttled Sushil Modi’s Rajya Sabha bid?

This was also perhaps the last chance for the Bihar BJP's tallest leader to get some kind of reward for his long stint in politics and more importantly providing counter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
May 30, 2016 3:26:39 pm
Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP, BJP polls, Congress, NDA split Sushil Kumar Modi

Just when BJP legislature party leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had started getting congratulatory calls in anticipation of his nomination to Rajya Sabha, a release issued by BJP leader JP Nadda on party list of RS candidates came as a jolt to Sushil Modi’s supporters. The name of former BJP president Gopal Narayan Singh came as a huge surprise as Singh had been lying low in state politics for a while. He had lost last Assembly polls. He had been losing one election after other in last 20 years. He was not even in the BJP core team since he completed his term as BJP state president about 10 years ago.

Sushil Modi did not take media calls after the decision, even though he sent congratulatory message to Singh. Modi was seen as a clear choice given his stature. There were talks of him being inducted into Union cabinet. His experience as Bihar finance minister and chairman of GST empowered committee of state finance ministers would have come handy for taking up new assignment. This was also perhaps the last chance for the Bihar BJP’s tallest leader to get some kind of reward for his long stint in politics and more importantly providing counter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. His key aides were almost sure of his entry to RS.

Sources said his rivals at Centre from Bihar also played some role in scuttling move to his entry at central level. BJP surely looks divided in camp with some Union ministers from Bihar being allergic to Sushil Modi. A section of BJP is offering logic of Modi’s indispensability in Bihar politics as the key opposition leader who can keep the heat on Lalu and Nitish with facts and figures. BJP leader of Opposition Prem Kumar is not making the cut, says a BJP leader trying to make a point for keeping Modi Bihar-bound.

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But deep down, it is a matter of yet another lost case for Sushil Modi, who may need to reboot his politics. For BJP cadre can also look with suspicion about his dwindling clout. One may ask if Modi cannot get himself a RS berth, he may not be able to get key positions to his supporters. “The central BJP took decision on its own. Consulting us was just a sham”, said a leader, adding how Sushil Modi was almost decided and only Nirmala Sitharaman or Syed Shahnawaz Hussain looked to stand a remote chance against him.

In 2012, Sushil Modi had described Nitish Kumar as “PM material” when then Gujarat CM and now PM Narendra Modi had been dropping his name. Nitish Kumar had once said Narendra Modi does not forget things easily. One may wonder and can relate if Modi of Bihar missed out because he had turned a Modi supporter more belatedly than the likes of Giriraj Singh, who got a ministerial berth more because of his loyalty to Narendra Modi than his capabilities.

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