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Will J.P. Nadda Deliver on the Massive Faith Reposed in him by the BJP Leadership?

The National Executive of BJP had once again reposed its faith in J.P. Nadda by granting him another extension: he will continue to remain the BJP president till June, 2024. Significantly, in extending his tenure, BJP has indeed played safe: it sought to avoid any upsetting of the present equation as well as preventing the emergence of a new power tussle which could have ensued in the wake of the new face replacing Nadda.

Moreover, the nine assembly elections which are on the anvil in this year itself, followed closely by the upcoming general election in 2024, restrained BJP from going ahead with its another manoeuvre which, if it was undertaken forthwith, ran the severe risk of upending the existing political equation. Further, the suave and moderate image of Nadda, whose proximity with Modi and Shah is well known, also contributing to the extension for Nadda for another period which is considered to be extremely crucial for Modi, as the victory in 2024 (Will Modi Win in 2024) will bracket him with that of towering Nehru and Indira, the latter duo alone held the distinguished record of presiding over the nation’s destiny for over two decades–whereas Nehru remained an unchallenged PM for almost seventeen years, Indira too followed suit by presiding over the nation’s destiny for almost fifteen years.

Nehru and Indira Gandhi

Interestingly, the BJP National Executive which is nothing short of putting a stamp of approval on the expression of wish of Narendra Modi, was destined to aver to this new political accommodation where Nadda was destined to be given an extension for executing the diktat of Modi and Shah.

In fact, the name of Dharmendra Pradhan had cropped up in the media as well as in the BJP circle, yet the top leadership which includes Modi and Shah for all decisions making, played safe: Dharmendra Pradhan or anyone for that purpose, can step into the shoes of Nadda only after Modi achieved his feat: retains the right to stay at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.

However when the final goal is to ensure the return of Modi yet again in 2024 (Will Modi Return in 2024), the road leading to the fulfillment of the same has to pass through the inclement weather which will not be easy to negotiate: The upcoming elections in nine States in 2023 constitutes the monumental challenge for BJP to ensure that its voting spree continues unabated which, given the evolving situations in different states, might not be an easy target.

BJP J.P. Nadda

Incidentally, among the states which will go for elections this year, the schedule for three north-east states have already been announced: whereas Tripura will vote on 16th of February, Nagaland and Meghalaya will vote on 27th of February. The date of counting will be on 2nd of March.

Significantly, the states which will subsequently go to polls like Mizoram, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Madhyapradesh and others, will surely set the tone for the upcoming Lok Sabha Election in 2024. Also, Congress snatching Himachal Pradesh from BJP, has re-invigorated the moribund Congress party to excel in its performance.

Better still, the ongoing Bharat Jodo mission of Rahul Gandhi, which is already causing dread in the camps of BJP, and which is increasingly drawing an overwhelming media attention, has the potential reverberations in this ongoing state assembly elections. However, the position of Congress Party in the states where it is ruling at present, does not inspire much of confidence:

The ongoing slug of war between Sachin Pilot and the chief minister Ashok Gehlot, if not reconciled forthwith, might result in an outright BJP’s victory. In Chhatisgarh too, the situation does not appear to be rosy: The party and the government of Bhupesh Baghel appear to be involved in neck- deep corruption, which the opposition BJP has been highlighting to the hilt.

Sachin Pilot and the chief minister Ashok Gehlot

The latest observation of Shashi Tharoor, a Senior Congress leader, that BJP is likely to get atleast 50 seats less in the upcoming General Election of 2024, is based on the evolving scenario where, notwithstanding the degree of optimism and enthusiasm of BJP leaders, the party in all likelihood, is going to lose heavily in Bihar, West Bengal and in Karnataka too. Small wonder then, BJP’s heavily oiled party machinery, fully awakened to the grim reality ahead, has already identified 190 seats for the Lok Sabha election, where it will have to put in its best efforts to win.

Worse still, Dr Amartya Sen who almost vanished from the political landscape of India, in the wake of Narendra Modi’s entering into Delhi Durbar–his resignation from the chairmanship of Nalanda to his inconsequential visits to India–how his visits to India, during Manmohan Singh’s regime, had the official trappings– chipped in with his observation, ‘ Regional parties should count, and Mamata Banerjee should be the prime ministerial candidate.

Unequivocally, Amartya Sen had hit the two birds with one stone: whereas he has sought to galvanise the opposition parties into fighting to the finish in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, he has also awakened the hibernating ambitions of regional satraps as well as the stalwarts in BJP like Rajnath Singh, to bite the bullet and pick up the gauntlet to take on Modi’s monopolistic stranglehold over power.

Evidently, as the situation stands today, BJP’s crossing the tally of 250 (Will BJP Win in 2024) appears a difficult target, although not impossible. Clearly, the target of anything above 270 seats, in the general election of 2024, will bring back Narendra Modi on to power, which will be historic, for Modi then, will be bracketed with Nehru and Indira for ruling India for more than two decades.

However, anything around 250 or less seats at the hustings in 2024 will engender a new permutation and combination within BJP: The party then, in order to continue its rule, will have to invariably discover a leader of Vajpayee mode, and here Rajnath Singh, much like Narsimha Rao in 1991, when the latter had almost retired from politics, suddenly sprung back with a bang, Rajnath Singh, almost lying on the periphery of power equation, will spring back with a bang.

Significantly, unlike Narsimha Rao, Rajnath Singh has never given up on his ambition to become the prime minister of India. 2024 may also prove a dream come true for him, if BJP secures 250 or lesser number of seats, for Rajnath’s moderate image, his friendship with all regional parties, will come handy to enable him to become the prime minister of India. On the other hand, BJP securing any number of seats around and above 270 will ensure Modi’s tryst with the destiny of Bharatvarsha. No wonder, J.P. Nadda’s extension of his tenure is meant for bringing back Modi yet again. Will he succeed or fail in his mission, is a matter of speculation now.