Amidst the din of declaring Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the road ahead may not be that easy for the Gujarat chief minister.
Though BJP workers are believed to be celebrating the emergence of a strong leader, it is driving away NDA allies, in anticipation of losing out on Muslim votes if the Hindutva mascot leads the BJP. Nitish Kumar, senior leader of JD(U) leader which shares power with the BJP in state, is a case in point.
JD(U) is not the only party opposing Modi. Modi has been working on building a wide consensus and alliances with various regional and state parties and in some cases reaching out to even regional BJP leaders.
BJP sources said Modi is actively reaching out to them through robust channels of spin doctors – corporate lobbyists, BJP and RSS functionaries with personal loyalties to Modi.
“Any regional party which has any expectations of Muslim votes will never ally with Modi. UP has 22% Muslim voters so how can SP or BSP incline towards Modi? Minority community voters dominate Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala among others,” said Congress working committee member Madhusudan Mistry.
In Maharashtra, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Raj Thackeray appears to favour Modi while Uddhav is against him. The sailing is not smooth in all BJP-ruled states either. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan and BJP’s Odisha unit is not exactly fond of Modi. In Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal has expressed its support for Modi. The North-East states do not hold much promise for Modi, except support from PA Sangma’s recently floated party.