The BJP seems to be putting all its eggs in one basket— by hitching its wagon to the star on UP’s terra firma -- Yogi Adityanath.
This indicati0n came when -- while scotching speculation over the BJP's chief ministerial face in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls -- Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said Adityanath has to become the CM in 2022 for Narendra Modi to be sworn in as the prime minister in 2024.
Whether this was a subtle attempt to play the Modi card to turn the tide in Yogi’s favour is another way of looking at it. But it goes without saying that the fate of Yogi and PM Modi are clearly intertwined, pointed out a political observer.
The Union Home Minister made the decisive remark at a function while kickstarting the BJP's membership expansion drive. On the occasion, the former BJP president also unveiled the slogan, "Mera Parivar, BJP Parivar" – an apparent dig at the opposition "family-run parties".
Keen to underscore that what he had said was not an off-the-cuff remark, Shah reiterated: "The foundation of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, which has to be won under the leadership of Modi Ji, will be laid in the 2022 Assembly elections here." That should also nip in the bud any speculation about whether PM Modi is eyeing yet another stint in the PM’s office.
Shah’s exuberance was followed by overwhelming praise from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for PM Modi whom he hailed on Friday as "24-carat gold". ‘‘He is perhaps the only leader after Mahatma Gandhi with deep understanding of Indian society and its psychology,’’ said Singh. He suggested that Modi's political journey of the last two decades as head of government should be part of the curriculum in management schools; it would be an interesting case study on "effective leadership and efficient governance".
Speaking at length about Modi's political odyssey, Singh said, "A true leadership is identified by its intent and integrity and, in both cases, Modiji is 24-carat gold. There is not a single stain of corruption on him.’’
Rajnath was speaking at the valedictory session of a national conference on 'Delivering Democracy: Reviewing 2 Decades of Narendra Modi as Head of Govt'. Warming up to his theme, Rajnath said Modi is not merely a person, but an idea, a thought.
Stating that there is no difference between Modi's words and deeds, the defence minister said he accepted the crisis of credibility in Indian politics as a challenge and overcame it.
(With inputs from PTI)