Should BJP project Modi as PM candidate? - YES

B. S. Raghavan | Updated on March 12, 2018


It is not difficult to see why the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi has the Prime Minister’s job all but sewn up if a BJP dispensation were to come to power following the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

There are many in the political arena of every country who have made it to the big league by virtue of lineage, leg-up from godfathers, leverages of wealth and networks, and diverse kinds of manipulations and machinations. Modi is almost the only political leader who has acquired an iconic stature and prominence on the national stage almost exclusively on the strength of inherent leadership skills, unequalled record of performance, unimpeachable character and unquestioned integrity.

The rapid strides that Gujarat has made in pursuance of the model of economic development forged under his leadership are all well-documented. Further, the top brass of business and industry thronging enthusiastically and in such large numbers to his Vibrant Gujarat Summits, pledging huge investments, comprises worldly-wise and hard-boiled veterans who cannot be fooled by window dressing. So are the chiefs of the diplomatic missions of Britain, Canada and Japan who attended the latest Summit, with the British High Commissioner, James Bevan, gushing forth, “Britain is back. Gujarat is great and so is Britain. Let us work together!”


The people of Gujarat too would not have handed convincing electoral triumphs to Modi thrice in a row unless they had felt the beneficial impact of his achievements at close quarters. And those achievements themselves bear testimony to his single-minded drive towards goals he sets before himself and his ability to get the best out of those he works with, regardless of whether they are officials or non-officials.

Judged by these yardsticks, Modi can be said to be the tallest among Chief Ministers and political luminaries in today’s context. There is a view, though, that for him credibly to morph into the role of the Prime Minister, he needs to cultivate a pan-India persona.

My answer to this is two-fold: First, as per a recent opinion survey by Nielson reported in the media, Modi has the endorsement of 88 per cent of the participants from all over India. This broad-based support is reflective of the trust all strata of the people within and outside his State have in his inclusive credentials and the rejection of the malicious and unproven imputations whipped up against him following the 2002 riots.

Second, looking at him from the vantage point of a student of public affairs for over 60 years, I am clear in my mind that he has the practical experience and mental resilience to hone his grasp of the nuances of issues of national and international importance and fit them into a broader and deeper global vision. All in all, he has what it takes to lead the nation from up front to transform it into an economic powerhouse.

Published on February 15, 2013

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