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The Modi factor can make or break BJP.

By naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as part of its parliamentary board, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has all but stopped short of identifying him as its prime ministerial candidate ahead of the May 2014 general elections. This authority lies with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The BJP has gone in for a restructuring with a view that polls may be announced early. The comeback of activists Amit Shah, Uma Bharti and Varun Gandhi, all hardliners, in senior positions, suggests that their rallying cry, against a malfunctioning Congress, will once again be based on religious lines or Hindutva.

It is Modi, however, who stands to be the polarising figure. His promotion can be a political masterstroke or a total fiasco. He may have orchestrated an economic turnaround in Gujarat, but India sees him as a divisive figure. Modi's political acumen cannot be questioned. He also does not like to be muzzled. His party may be pursuing the wrong philosophy in propping him as its main hope. The true test will come if he diminishes the authority of the RSS.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Apr 2, 2013
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