Modi's Hunkaar on Nitish's Lalkaar in Loknayak JP's Durbar

Published: Saturday, Oct 26,2013, 15:20 IST
Modi, Hunkaar rally, Nitish kumar, Loknayak JP,

An unusual calm and still can be felt in the air of Patna. Probably this is the calm before a storm, the storm which would come on 27th October 2013. Narendra Modi is visitng Patna after a gap of 3 years, this time to flirt with the voters of politically most aware state to vote his party in the next Lok Sabha elections. The rally is significant in many ways. For starters, it would be a show of strength for the ‘discarded’ BJP which was asked to leave the Bihar allied govt. after Nitish Kumar’s JDU separated from NDA.  Second of it, Bihar sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha and is an important state where BJP is considered strong, therefore Narendra Modi, in his quest for 272 seats would want as many seats as possible from Bihar. However the most important of them all, is to challenge the lineage of JP Movement (which gave India a non Congress government for the 1st time) which consists of stalwart leaders like Laloo, Paswan, Nitish etc (all popular and mass leaders in their own right).

Like JP Like Modi

Lok Nayak (leader of the people) as he was popularly called anchored this countrywide revolution to protest against the misuse and abuse of power by powerful PM Indira Gandhi and the Bihar Students’ movement was the most important part of this revolution. Today Narendra Modi seeks to form another non Congress govt. Both these movements have some amazing resemblance

  1. Jayaprakash challenged the authority of Indira Gandhi in early 1970s. 40 years down the line, Narendra Modi seems to challenge the same 1st Family, now headed by another Gandhi.
  2. The situation was of Emergency then, today with Biased Media, lots of hostile laws to curb Freedom of Expression, rampant corruption without any check and non accountability of the Govt. officials has led to a situation near Emergency
  3. The 72 year old JP, got immense success due to active participation of Students. The 63 year old Modi is hoping to get the endorsement of most of the youths in his quest of forming a Non Congress Government
  4. In 1974, JP addressed a Huge crowd in Gandhi Maidan of Patna and said, “This is a revolution, friends! “. On 27th October 2013 Narendra Modi, would address a supposed crowd of close to 1 million on the same historic Gandhi Maidan
  5. The JP movement had a Gujarat connection. Navnirman Andolan sought to dismiss the Gujarat government. This time however, a Gujarati is not seeking dismissal but the appointment of a Gujarati in the Central Government as the PM of the country.

Therefore Modi has quite a few similarities and has a definite edge over those who claim to lead forward JP’s legacy.

The Modi-Nitish Rivalry

Modi and Nitish were considered good friends in Political Circles. It all started after NDA’s unprecedented defeat in the 2004 General Elections.  Nitish Kumar led NDA to a thumping victory in the 2005 Assembly elections in Bihar and bettered his performance in 2010 with a 3/4th majority. Soon after he took guard as CM of Bihar, there was a competition between 2 to be the better CM and more importantly more acceptable CM. Nitish developed a hostility towards Modi for reasons best known to the 2. He even imposed a ban on unspoken Narendra Modi’s Bihar visit. Some of the highlights of the bitterness of the 2:

  1.  In 2005 election, Nitish didn’t allow Modi to campaign in Bihar for the alliance
  2. The astounding success led Nitish to believe that this strategy was good and he banned Mdi again in 2009 Lok Sabha elections in which the alliance won 32 out of 40 seats
  3. In 2008, Modi has sent welfare fund money for flood hit Bihar’s reliefe work which Nitish refused to accept.
  4. Nitish continued his no Modi policy in 2010 elections and came home with even bigger majority. By far Nitish was sure that in his state with 15% muslims, this strategy was best
  5. In 2012, Nitish gave an unprovoked interview to The Economic Times, saying that NDA should only project a PM with secular credentials, his jibe was aimed at Modi
  6. It is also said that after 2 consecutive victories in state elections, Nitish started harbouring PM ambitions himself and saw Modi as the biggest rival
  7. As Modi’s popularity soared and demand from within his party’s cadres to make him the PM nominee, Nitish started attacking Modi indirectly more and more.
  8. In March 2013, addressing a massive Adhikar Rally in Delhi, Nitish advocated his Bihar model of development was inclusive and for all unlike Gujarat’s model
  9. Later in June 2013, Modi was made the Campaigns head of BJP for 2014 elections. The local BJP Bihar unit rubbed salt on Nitish’s wounds by siding with Modi. Then JDU broke away from the NDA

The Conspiracy Theories

  1. Laloo Yadav alleges that Nitish kumar is a stealth RSS man and is doing all these for two reasons, a) To divide muslim/’secular’ votes so that BJP benefits b) Attack Modi more and more so that he stays in news because in politics even a negative publicity is a publicity
  2. Dr. Manish Kumar of Chauthi Duniya says it is all about caste politics of Bihar. Since JP movement, lot leaders have come up from the backward classes. Currently Nitish Kumar is the most popular of them (having proved him so by defeating Laloo Yadav for 3 times in a row 2005, 2009, 2010). Narendra Modi is another OBC leader and Nitish fears his crown, therefore opposes Modi
  3. Another theory says that there is a rift between Advani and Modi and that Nitish is acting on Advani’s behest to help the former, in becoming the NDA’s PM candidate in case BJP falls short of the magic figure in 2014
  4. 1 more unbelievable yet unavoidable theory says that, Modi along with the Bihar BJP unit conspired to split the JDU, and bring in many MLAs, MPs to the BJP, thereby reducing JDU to absolute nothing and helping BJP form the government on itself
  5. Finally, it could be true that Nitish actually fears repulsion from Muslim votes should his party would have backed Modi, paving way for another Laloo Raj

Which of these are true, is beyond verification.  All of it or none of it may be true but the fact remains that on face of it Modi and Nitish are fierce rivals now and the breakup hurt BJP a lot (emotionally if not tactically) and now they are ready to show flex their muscles before the ruling JDU.

Hunkaar Rally Build Up

Bihar is one of the few states in India where BJP is in an enviable position for 3 reasons

  1. Sangh has a strong base here and is present in nearly all the key areas
  2. The Junta is politically more aware than most of the states of the country and therefore BJP need not do much to sell its story
  3. The local Leadership is strong. With a galaxy of leaders across castes connected to the grasstroots and well known faces on TV  such as Sushil Modi, Shahnawaz Hussain, Ravi Shankar Prasad,  Shatrughn Sinha, CP Thakur, Ashwini Chaube, Rajiv Rudy, Nand Kishore Yadav, Kirti Azad, Giriraj Singh; the BJP presents itself as a formidable force

From making travel arrangements for the masses to saffronizing Patna with banners and posters, to creating a mega hype around the rally to executing unusual campaigns such as Namo Tea stall to selling Modi’s name as someone from the poor masses with established political acumen and willingness to work, the BJP has done everything possible to make the Hunkaar Rally a grand success in terms of participation. If some local leaders are to be believed, the crowd swell may even cross 1 million (10 lakhs) and break all the records. So now it all boils down to Narendra Modi, how well he utilizes this mega hyped up rally to his advantage.

It’s upto Narendra Modi

Undoubtedly Narendra Modi is one of the most powerful orators in the country, but this timehe would be facing a crowd which is in the knowhow of the politics. There are something which Modi needs to do and something which he shouldn’t

  1. Modi usually attacks the Congress and leaves out the others (Hyderabad, TN, Karnataka etc). In Bihar, Congress is a virtual non entity, therefore major energy should be channelized in attacking local JDU and RJD and addressing local issues such as emigration of Biharis
  2. Acknowledge the political intellect Bihar has given from 1st president of the country to the 1st Non Congress government
  3. With all the Nitish model of development, Bihar remains backward, Crime and law & order still needs improvement, so addressing these issues
  4. Also touching upon the history how during Mauryan era, patliputra (modern day Bihar) was culturally and intellectually the richest region of the world but reduced to nothing post independence

Whether the Hunkaar Rally is a success or a failure, time would tell, but is has generated the required Hype and has Modi a chance to take on his friend turned foe Nitish, who he has been silent on, to anchor yet another revolution like JP did and lay the foundation of another Congress free government. This is a golden opportunity for him to dent into the Citadels of those who claim to lead the legacy of JP and announce himself as the actual leader of the people.

This country awaits another ‘Sampoorn Kranti’ (Total Revolution) and nothing less!

Author : Suyash Bharadwaj | Follow the writer

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