Narendra Modi - A lone warrior by design or forced to go alone?
Pankaj Sharma/Zee Research Group
Is Narendra Modi a lone warrior by design or he is forced to go it all alone?
The Gujarat Chief Minister has crisscrossed India ever since his anointment as the party Prime Ministerial candidate. But barring the party president Rajnath Singh, several other party bigwigs have yet not found it fit to share the dais during his majority of rallies.
A study of 50 major political rallies of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate shows he have had poor company on the dais. The analysis shows that in 20 out of 50 rallies no big ticket central leader joined Modi.
BJP party president has accompanied Modi maximum times escorting him in 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 rallies at diverse set of locations across states. Singh accompanied Modi in maximum eight rallies in Uttar Pradesh. The list includes venues like Kanpur, Jhansi, Bahraich, Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Lucknow.
Other than UP, Singh also shared dais with Modi at Bhopal (MP), Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Patna (Bihar), Bengalore (Karnataka), Jammu (J&K), Dehradun (UK), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Kolkata (West Bengal), Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Assam), Sujanpur (HP), Jagraon (PB) and Goa.
Barring Singh, no senior leader from the party rank has accompanied him during his rallies more than four times.
BJP patriarch L.K Advani and the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj addressed a single joint rally along with Modi. On September 25, 2013 both leaders shared the stage with Modi at Bhopal.
The study of Modi rallies covers 23 states where Modi held his rallies since being anointed party’s Prime Ministerial candidate. Major rallies of Modi held between September 13, 2013 and March 14, 2014 have been incorporated for the study.
As per the analysis, senior BJP leaders including Ananth Kumar, Nitin Gadkari and Kalyan Singh, each have shared dais with Modi on four occasions. Whilst, Kumar accompanied Modi at Bhopal, Bangalore, Davangere and Mangalore, Gadkari shared stage with him at rallies held at Rohini, Dwarka, Chandni Chowk and Mumbai. Moreover, former UP chief minister has been part of Modi rallies at Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Lucknow.
Likewise, former union ministers and senior party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley have partnered Modi in two rallies each. While Naidu joined Modi at Bhopal and Bangalore, Jaitley shared dais with him at Patna and Bhopal.
Similarly, senior saffron party leaders like Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Shahnawaz Hussain each went with Modi to address rallies at three locations. Joshi addressed rallies with Modi at venues including Bhopal, Varanasi and Lucknow. At Muzaffarpur and Purnia both Rudy and Hussain shared dais with Modi. Outside Bihar, while Rudy attended rally at Mumbai, Hussain addressed the Kolkata rally.
Leaders like Varun Gandhi, Chandan Mitra and Balbir Punj each joined one Modi rally so far.