Update at the end
Note: As a recovering political junkie, I avoid electoral politics, but this issue has broader implications.
With his expected victory in coming Gujarat elections, Shri Narendra Modi is nearly certain to be BJP/NDA prime ministerial candidate for coming Lok Sabha elections. However I am not sure that time is right for his candidature,
In short, while the stakes at this time are too high, the returns are uncertain.
1. If Shri Modi throws his hat and BJP doesn’t win his detractors in party (and Sangh Parivar) will take him down for ever, so he gets only one chance at this, so he better make best use of it.
2. BJP, to put it charitably, is in moribund state. While it is still a contender on state level in its core states, at a national level not only it has stopped growing, it has declined, in some states to extent of irrelevance.
3. BJP is expected to fair poorly (that is a optimistic assessment for BJP) in Karnataka, thanks to meddling by “high command”.
4. It is still dead in UP, the most populous state and formerly one of its core state, what is more, there is no chance of it reviving in time for nest elections, mired as it is by a disastrous state leadership.
5. Its central leadership has been captured by a coterie of hanger-ons, opportunists and careerists, more interested in cuddling up to the warmth that emanates from corridors of power, and suck from the teats of state than provide leadership. To summarize,
From party of leaders, BJP has become a party of dealers
6. Urban middle class was BJP’s core constituency as well as key constituency for its growth. However BJP has lost its credibility in the eyes of middle class, which even if if it is strong in the states, at national level its appeal is diminished, putting in serious doubt, its prospects in next elections.
7. With the fumbles of Congress, BJP’s cadre is not as dejected as two years back, however its organization is in shambles and it ability to effectively manage election at grass-roots is doubtful.
8. With its weak electoral prospect, BJP is not as attractive ally to its regional parties as it was in previous decade, further the Muslim consolidation against it, in case Shri Modi is the contender, makes allies hesitant to join BJP
I know many BJP supporters hate Nitish Kumar but BJP can’t do without him.
9. Even after all this, if somehow BJP manages to come to power, we can be rest assured it will be a weak government cobbled together just for sake of power, lacking any serious policy direction, only managing to loot public exchequer. If BJP were to engage itself in such an endeavour , it will sound its own death knell.
Considering the above, I think the moment is not opportune for Shri Modi’s promotion to national politics.
So what is my alternative, as they say stay tuned…
Update: The most important point was left from original post. The matter of Kejriwal, I know many Modi supporters dismiss him as a flash in the pan, but in my opinion, they do that at their own peril. As much as I dislike Kejriwal or the whole anti-corruption movement, the movement can boast of a strong organization at the grass roots unprecedented enthusiasm among s supporters, and a positive image among middle class. True its effect is limited to urban area, unfortunately for BJP thats where its core constituency.
In short, expect Kejriwal and party to play spoiler for BJP, at-least in coming election.