POLL: Is Advani more ‘acceptable’ than Modi?

In politics, like in cricket, nothing is in the realm of the impossible. And it is not over till the last ball is bowled (and sometimes not even that, if it is a front-foot no-ball). So, what was projected to be a head-to-head faceoff between Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi for the 2014 elections is showing signs of becoming anything but.

In other words, it’s time to dip into the Kuala Lumpur Police Department manual.

On the one hand, the “young yuvaraj” seems to have presumptively developed cold feet about wanting to take over the mantle, as if the people of democratic India were dying to hand it over to him. Result: prime minister Manmohan Singh feels emboldened to answer hypothetical questions on a third term, if Congress wins, if UPA comes to power, if….

But it is what is happening in the other corner that is even more captivating.

After prematurely building himself up as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Modi is coming to terms with reality outside TV studios. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar‘s comment, among others, that “only one who can carry with him all the diverse sections of people can become the leader of the nation” is proving to be the spark.

Suddenly, a bunch of people within the BJP are finding virtue in L.K. Advani.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has realised that he is without doubt “our tallest leader“. Former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh finds him the “seniormost“. And former finance minister Yashwant Sinha says, “if Advani is available to lead the party and the government, that should end all discourse.”

The BJP’s allies too are piping in. Naresh Gujral of the Shiromani Akali Dal says “nobody can have any objection to Advani’s candidature. He is a senior and respected leader.” K.C. Tyagi of the JD(U) says, “We contested under Advani’s leadership in 2009 and will have absolutely no hesitation in doing so again.”

So, could Modi vs Rahul in 2014 become a Manmohan vs Advani battle?

Does Advani have the backing of the RSS or of larger BJP for the top job? Is the “man who sowed the dragon seeds of hatred“—the brain behind the bloody rath yatra that led to the demolition of the Babri masjid—really “more secular” than Modi? Or, are his BJP colleagues and NDA allies firing from his shoulders against Modi?

Could Advani, 84, gracefully make way for a younger aspirant, like say Sushma Swaraj (who has the OK of Shiv Sena), or will he throw his hat in the ring? Does he have the carry that Modi enjoys?

Or is the “man who sowed the dragon seeds of hatred“—the brain behind the bloody rath yatra that led to the demolition of the Babri masjid—destined to become a two-time “former future prime minister of India“? And is the next general election a semi-final before another election in 2015 or 2016?

Also read: Who could be the NDA’s PM candidate?

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17 Responses to “POLL: Is Advani more ‘acceptable’ than Modi?”

  1. Melanie Says:

    Choosing between Tweedledum and Tweedledee!!!

  2. Deepak Says:

    Advani led the party in 2009 and lost. He also led the campaign in 2004 and lost. He has crossed 80 years of age and should have gracefully retired from politics and served as a mentor to the new leaders. It is unfortunate to see his lust for power at this age. Even now, he should make it clear that he is not interested in power, else he will lose what little respect he has.

    It is very clear, there is a huge support for Modi and the BJP should go ahead and declare him their leader, irrespective of what Nitish does. If they do that, it will be a do or die battle for Modi.

    If Modi can get 170+ seats, then Patnaik, Jaya and Mamta will be more than happy to join hands with him and Modi as PM can be a reality.

    However, if under Modi BJP fails to cross 140 seats, it will be a personal loss for him and probably signal the end of his ambitions. It will also allow someone like Sushma to make a bid for PM with an enlarged alliance which may even include Pawar, Mulayam and the likes. With Modi out of the scene, ‘secular parties’ will scramble to the BJP if they get more seats than Cong.

    Its to the advantage of BJP to go with Modi. Hope they don’t shoot themselves in the foot like last time. They must choose Modi soon and send Advani to a retirement home at the earliest,

  3. Sanjeeva Says:

    Seriously, I don’t know why the media is so obsessed with the next PM when the elections are still one year away. Don’t they know that even one week is too long in politics. Abhi Dilli bahut door hai (for any aspirant)!

  4. MPR.NAMBIAR Says:

    The requirement is a leader who have more acceptability to the people not acceptability of seff oriented politicians

  5. Communal Award Says:

    Get real.
    BJP’s Forward Caste politicians (Advani/Rajnath/Gadkari/Jaitley/Yashwant/Sushma) will NEVER accept Modi (BC) as PM.
    They’ll collude with Congress/CBI to malign/dump Modi at an appropriate time.

  6. RC Sharma Says:

    Why is Churmuri losing it sleep? Election is one year away.

  7. the colonel Says:

    sadly there is no one we can think of who doesnt have blood on their hands.

    we have been taken for a ride by all in these 60+ years.

    the only decent people left are:-

    yeshwant sinha

    jaswant singh

    manmohan singh

    but all their parties are smeared with blood

    O’ Fortuna

    It will take less than 3 minutes. do watch the lyrics are included.

    there is also a wiki on carmina burana and o’ fortuna, if you are

    interested.

    please do not resign yourself but struggle along.

  8. hkollar Says:

    Advani? Seriously?!!

    Even SuSwa is a better candidate, with all her ‘Reddy’ stink. But, all this nonsense of Modi Bashing is something I can’t get. Ok, he did some mistake and continues to make a few (like weakening lokpal in Gujrat). But, on the positive – he talks of some coherent plans, provides some hope in this hopelessness.

    So, why look beyond him within BJP? They may loose with him? Heck, they already lost with Advani and would do so with any other leader any way!

    And, if Nitish Kumar should be taken at face value, then one should ask when was the last time Advani wore a ‘topi’??

    When was the last time Sonia Gandhi or even Sushma Swaraj wore a Burkha?

    Or should they be wearing a topi & Tilak too? That’d be an interesting picture!

  9. Abdur Rehman Patrawala Says:

    May be lesser evil…

  10. Praje Says:

    One option missing this time however is “how much did congress pay you to ask this question ?”

  11. asha Says:

    Advanji/Vajapayeeji were wimps and spineless leaders who frittered a golden chance to get rid of Congress once and for all..instead they treated Congress with kid gloves and look at the consequence. It is not for nothing that Nehru said to ABV, I see myself in you !!

  12. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I agree with Asha. Vajapayee was practically demented when he became PM; OddVani was tilting at mythological windmills a la Don Quixote style; Dumbass JustOneSingh became the knight of sad countenance and joined hero-worshiping of Jinnah Deva along with OddVani.

    Sushma S to me is nothing but a ‘Saree Palin'; she is shrill and apart from her ability to speak some Kannada I don’t think highly of her; Jaitley is a deal maker with UPA.

    NaMo is the only hope for the BJP and the Nation!

  13. Deepak Says:

    @asha @Doddi Buddi – I can understand your passionate support for NaMo and your desire (like mine) to see him at Delhi and making a difference. But calling Vajpayee a wimp is definitely not defendable. NO WAY VAJPAYEE WAS A WIMP. Advani was a wimp no doubt, a failure as Home Minister. But Vajpayee was a visionary and the man who was the sole reason why BJP could rule for 5 years. Without Vajpayee’s towering presence there would be no NDA. He was a true statesman and without doubt the best PM India had.

    Whatever maybe Modi’s positive traits, he can never have the statesman like approach of Vajpayee. Already even the oldest ally of BJP Shiv Sena is cribbing about him. Even if BJP gets the numbers, it won’t be easy for NaMO to run a coalition govt. that easily. That is where Vajpayee will be missed.

  14. asha Says:

    Deepak,

    Vajapayee was a wimp..he buckled under pressure when IC130 was hijacked and released the terrorists and sent them to afghanistan along with his external affairs minister.

    He buckled under pressure to accommodate Musharraf and pakistan when both were getting screwed internationally for terrorism.

    He treated sonia and congress with kid gloves and did not pursue scams under congress with gutso, thereby clearly giving the impression he wants to earn a good name at all costs, even when he has to suck up to congress/sonia.

    Modi I hope will not be ABV by any stretch of imagination.

    BTW parties like JDU and SS should be dropped like hot potatoes and BJP should go it alone this time without such pesks irritating them all the time. Look at Nitish, he held a rally is delhi, bad mouthed Modi and got Rs12.000 crores from the UPA govt for Bihar…does it tell you something.

  15. Deepak Says:

    @asha You are getting carried away ma’am. Modi is not God, he cannot win 274 seats for BJP Please remember BJP lost in 2004 because they allowed allies to drift away and because of the arrogance of Mahajan who thought he could win a majority for BJP without allies like DMK, Paswan, etc.

    I hope you will realise that even if Modi exceeds all expectations, BJP cannot hope to cross 180 seats and if you ditch JDU and SS, where will you be? Only Jaya and Patnaik will support Modi – that bring the tally to hardly 220/230, it will be very difficult to get 272. And with a razor thin majority, Modi cannot be an effective PM. Jaya like in the past will extract her pound of flesh. BJP has to manage its allies just like Vajpayee did, else it will be very difficult. Remember the arrogant stance of the Congress of going alone and see where it has landed. The way forward is alliance and ther is no escaping it.

    And as far as Kandahar is concerned, no Govt. could have adopted such a rigid stance and allowed its citizens to get butchered. I agree that his pact with Sonia was not good, but one or two such instances doesn’t make a great leader a wimp.

  16. Rajeev Nehra Says:

    advani lost in 2004 and 2009 bjp will be under 100 if modi is not declared pm candidate

  17. K Laxminarayana Rao Says:

    Modi or Advani? both are same. modi may help terrorize hindus and put the blame on muslims. Advani may not go to that extent. From the point of development the credit should go to Gujarati people and not Mpoi or any other political leaders. Even in Gujarat populistic programme funds are misused. If you travel in gujarat and talk to people you will know it. That being the case why not Advani instead of Modi. BJP will loose in Lokasabha elections if they select Modi.

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