New Delhi : Thus far the internal bickering in the BJP was seen as a battle between the old and the new. But now it is clear that the battle is for absolute supremacy for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. He has established that he does not tolerate any dilution of his authority, even if it comes from the party president Rajnath Singh.
So, within exactly 12 minutes, Rajnath Singh had to concede Modi’s supremacy in full public view. He had released the party’s new slogan, “Time For Change, Time For BJP” and “Abki Baar, Bhajapa Sarkar.” This one contradicted the personality centric slogans that have dotted the hoardings in the capital — “Bahut Hui Mehngai Ki Maar, Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”. This the time for Modi government was the main theme.
Apparently, Singh had tried to hit two birds with one arrow. Firstly, he wanted to convey the message that contrary to the criticism that the BJP has been reduced to a one-man show, the party was still in the same mode of collective decision-making.
Secondly, he wanted to bring down Modi a few notches and perhaps assert his presidential authority. But then within minutes, Modi struck back, and Singh re-tweeted the same old ‘Modi sarkar’ slogan.
Later, BJP’s in-charge in Uttar Pradesh Amit Shah defended Rajnath’s tweet saying, “There is no confusion. There is no difference between Modi government and the BJP government.”
However, the internal slogan war is just one facet of the story. The slogan “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi,” fashioned after the religious chant ‘Har Har Mahadev” has been officially withdrawn by Modi himself. “Some enthusiastic supporters have been using the slogan ”Har Har Modi”. I respect their enthusiasm, but request them not to use this slogan in the future,” Modi had tweeted.
It is quite significant that Modi has responded to the objections raised by Shankaracharya of Dwar-kapeeth, Swami Swaro-pananda, a respected Hindu seer, but also a known critic of the Sangh Parivar. The swami had objected to this form of ‘vyakti pooja” – eulogizing a person.
Earlier, his comments were brushed aside by senior leaders, including the former Bihar chief minister Sushil Modi, who said that coining slogans is the democratic right of the workers. ‘‘There are a number of Shankaracharyas in the country and the party could not take all of them seriously,” he had added. Interestingly, Modi may have directed his workers against using “Har Har Modi’, but there have been some more twists to this slogan.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have come up with “Dar Dar Modi’ and “Thar Thar Modi”– signifying a Modi who is afraid and shivering.
Meanwhile, the Congress has called upon women voters in the country to reflect on the question as to whether they would feel safe with the BJP’s slogan –“Ghar, Ghar Modi.”
“Given his track record of unleashing the full force of the police machinery to keep track of the movements of a lady, we would like to ask the women of the country, if they would feel safe with such a person,” said Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza.