A master stroke or a big gamble?

September 16, 2013 by Indro

The race for big office is heating up slowly in the world’s largest democracy. I am left wondering why BJP would formally make Narendra Modi the PM candidate so long before the election?
A few possibilities:
India is a country of hero worshippers. Every party has to have a face for the voters to look up to. BJP needs a face for the upcoming election who will grab the airtime.
I think there is another reason for naming Modi so early on in the game. The BJP wanted to put pressure on the Congress Party to make Rahul Gandhi their PM candidate.
BJP perhaps wanted that Rahul Gandhi be pitted against Modi head-to-head. The hope is probably that Rahul Gandhi would continue to make the vague and meaningless speeches (he said the other day that Indians have democracy in pants and shirts, or something along that line) and continue to look like a weak leader. The decisive and thundering Modi would then start to gain more and more of the superhero image.
Is BJP going to lose any more voters beyond what they have lost with Modi being in the forefront of things already? Perhaps not. In fact, now the industrialist who view him as the solution to India’s economic woes would more freely pump money into BJP election campaign.
The appointment of Raghuram Rajan was definitely a great move by the Congress for it stopped the downward slide of the economy in the perception of a large number of voters. It needs to be seen how they respond to this move of BJP. Can they avoid putting Rahul Gandhi head to head against Modi?
Badmouthing BJP for this move like the way they have been doing in the past 24 hours, they are only playing into BJP’s hands. Can they come up with a better strategy? Do they have any choice other than naming Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate? I will wait and watch.

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A blog about economics, politics and the random interests of forty-something professors

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