Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NaMo & SuMo: Does Bihar need more?

File photo (VOA)
If the BJP’s Bihar tally (20-24 seats in most all opinion polls) is more predictable than in Uttar Pradesh (range of 40-53) it is partly because of Modi. No, it’s not who you think it is, but Sushil Modi, who served of Nitish Kumar as Deputy Chief Minister when his party was in alliance with the Janata Dal(U).

The BJP’s problem in UP is that it depends on the guiles of an outsider like Amit Shah rather than its local leadership to bring homoe the vote.The BJP in UP is chock-a-bloc with netas and big egos - Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Lalji Tandon, etc - but with no clear state leader. Party President Rajnath Singh is himself a former UP Chief Minister. This forces the BJP to rely purely on NaMO's star power.

In Bihar, it has an unassailable leader in Sushil Modi. If the BJP comes to power in the state assembly, he will be Chief Minister, no doubt.

A former head of the inter-state panel on goods and services tax (GST), Sushil Modi (SuMo to Narendra Modi’s NaMo, according to an Economic Times coinage), is a no-nonsense political leader. Unlike others who make tall claims about how well their party will do, SuMo does not want to make predictions, and readily agrees that Lalu Prasad is his real enemy in the Lok Sabha polls. He is still saying he will be the single largest combine, but he is not predicting a sweep.

In an interview to The Economic Times, he says that in “90 percent of the seats, our main fight is with RJD”. He is also clear that Lalu may be getting the ear of the Muslim voter by directly targeting Modi (NaMo, that is). This makes the Muslim voter think only RJD is capable of fighting Modi. The net result is that Nitish Kumar is on the ropes, and Sushil Modi thinks he will sink to third place in this election and his state government could fall under the weight of its own contradictions after that. He promises that the BJP will not do any destabilisation of its own in the state.

The Lokniti-CSDS-CNN-IBN Tracker Poll showed the BJP-LJP alliance ahead of the Congress-JDU with 43 percent vote share against the latter’s 28 percent. The JD(U) comes third, as Sushil Modi has suggested, with 16 percent.

This should give the BJP-LJP combine around 20-21 seats. The NDTV opinion poll , telecast yesterday (14 April), gave the alliance 24 Lok Sabha seats, with the threat from the Congress-RJD alliance rising in recent weeks. But the position could be different in a state assembly poll, with BJP getting lower votes at 35 percent and JD(U) at 26 percent. Clearly, fighting a state assembly poll will be tougher for SuMo. Nevertheless, if Bihar is less of a cliffhanger than UP, it is because of the combo of NaMo plus SuMo.

Two Modis are apparently better than one. This combo would be even more vital in the state assembly polls.

Source: Money Control

No comments:

Post a Comment