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Narendra Modi: A lone warrior by design or forced to go it alone?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 - 2:37pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: Zee Research Group

A study of Narendra Modi's 50 major political rallies shows that very few prominent BJP leaders have accompanied him to the dias. Is this because the BJP does not want to take the focus away from him?
  • narendra-modi BJP President Rajnath Singh (left) and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi (right) at a rally. dna Research & Archives

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has crisscrossed India ever since his anointment as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. But barring BJP president Rajnath Singh, none of the other party bigwigs have yet found it fit to share the dais with him on most of his rallies. 

A study of Modi’s 50 major political rallies shows he has had poor company on the dais. At 20 of the 50 rallies, no big ticket central leader joined Modi. Rajnath Singh has accompanied him the maximum number of times, at 22 major rallies. This means either the top leadership is preoccupied elsewhere, or the party does not want to dilute the singular focus being Modi himself.

Singh has joined Modi’s rallies at diverse locations across states. He accompanied Modi on eight rallies in Uttar Pradesh, at Kanpur, Jhansi, Bahraich, Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Lucknow. 

Other than UP, Singh also shared the dais with Modi at Bhopal (MP), Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Patna (Bihar), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Jammu (J&K), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Kolkata (West Bengal), Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Sujanpur (HP), Jagraon (PB) and Goa. 

Barring Singh, no senior leader from the party ranks has accompanied Modi on his rallies more than four times.  

BJP patriarch LK Advani and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, addressed a single joint rally along with Modi on September 25, 2013, at Bhopal. 

The study of Modi rallies covers 23 states, and all major rallies held between September 13, 2013 and March 14, 2014 have been incorporated. 

As per the analysis, senior BJP leaders Ananth Kumar, Nitin Gadkari and Kalyan Singh have each shared the dais with Modi on four occasions. Whilst Kumar accompanied Modi to Bhopal, Bangalore, Davangere and Mangalore, Gadkari was with him at rallies held in Rohini, Dwarka, Chandni Chowk and Mumbai. And former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh was with Modi at rallies at Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Lucknow. 

Likewise, former union ministers and senior party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley have partnered Modi on two rallies each. While Naidu joined Modi at Bhopal and Bangalore, Jaitley shared the dais with him at Patna and Bhopal. 

Senior saffron party leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Shahnawaz Hussain each went with Modi to address rallies at three locations. Joshi was at Bhopal, Varanasi and Lucknow. Both Rudy and Hussain were present at Muzaffarpur and Purnia. Outside Bihar, while Rudy attended the rally in Mumbai, Hussain addressed the Kolkata rally. 

Leaders like Varun Gandhi, Chandan Mitra and Balbir Punj have each joined one Modi rally so far. 

No. Date State Venue BJP leaders with  Modi
1 15 Sept 2013 Haryana Rewari None
2 25 Sept 2013 Madhya Pradesh Bhopal LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Ananth Kumar
3 26 Sept 2013 Tamil Nadu Trichy Rajnath Singh
4 26 Sept 2013 Kerala Amritapuri None
5 29 Sept 2013 Delhi Rohini Nitin Gadkari
6 19 Oct 2013 Uttar Pradesh Kanpur Rajnath Singh
7 25 Oct 2013 Uttar Pradesh Jhansi Rajnath Singh
8 26 Oct 2013 Rajasthan Udaipur Vasundhara Raje
9 27 Oct 2013 Bihar Patna Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley
10 7 Nov 2013 Chhattisgarh Jagdalpur None
11 7 Nov 2013 Chhattisgarh Kanker None
12 7 Nov 2013 Chhattisgarh Chhuikhadan None
13 8 Nov 2013 Uttar Pradesh Bahraich Rajnath Singh
14 14 Nov 2013 Chhattisgarh Raigarh None
15 17 Nov 2013 Karnataka Bengaluru Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar
16 19 Nov 2013 Rajasthan Alwar None
17 20 Nov 2013 Madhya Pradesh Shahdol None
18 21 Nov 2013 Uttar Pradesh Agra Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh
19 22 Nov 2013 Madhya Pradesh Khandwa None
20 23 Nov 2013 Delhi Dwarka Nitin Gadkari
21 25 Nov 2013 Rajasthan Bikaner None
22 28 Nov 2013 Rajasthan Ajmer None
23 29 Nov 2013 Rajasthan Jodhpur None
24 30 Nov 2013 Delhi Chandni Chowk Nitin Gadkari
25 1 Dec 2013 Jammu & Kashmir Jammu Rajnath Singh
26 15 Dec 2013 Uttarakhand Dehradun Rajnath Singh
27 19 Dec 2013 Karnataka Belgaum None
28 20 Dec 2013 Uttar Pradesh Varanasi Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar joshi, Kalyan Singh
29 22 Dec 2013 Maharashtra Mumbai Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde, Rajiv Pratap Rudy
30 29 Dec 2013 Jharkhand Ranchi Rajnath Singh
31 12 Jan 2014 Goa Goa Rajnath Singh
32 23 Jan 2014 Uttar Pradesh Gorakhpur Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh
33 2 Feb 2014 Uttar Pradesh Meerut Rajnath Singh
34 5 Feb 2014 West Bengal Kolkata Rajnath Singh, Varun Gandhi, Shahnawaz Hussain
35 8 Feb 2014 Manipur Imphal None
36 8 Feb 2014 Assam Guwahati None
37 9 Feb 2014 Kerala Kochi and Trivandrum Rajnath Singh
38 11 Feb 2014 Odisha Bhubaneswar Rajnath Singh, Balbir Punj, Chandan Mitra
39 16 Feb 2014 Himachal Pradesh Sujanpur Rajnath Singh
40 17 Feb 2014 Karnataka Davangere Ananth Kumar, Yeddyurappa
41 18 Feb 2014 Karnataka Mangalore Ananth Kumar, Yeddyurappa
42 22 Feb 2014 Arunachal Pradesh Pasighat None
43 22 Feb 2014 Assam Silchar None
44 22 Feb 2014 Tripura Agartala None
45 23 Feb 2014 Punjab Jagraon Rajnath Singh
46 28 Feb 2014 Karnataka Gulbarga None
47 28 Feb 2014 Karnataka Hubli None
48 2 March 2014 Uttar Pradesh Lucknow Rajnath Singh, Murli Manmohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh
49 3 March 2014 Bihar Muzaffarpur Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shahnawaz Hussain
50 10 March 2014 Bihar Purnia Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shahnawaz Hussain


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