BJP can't afford to lose Gadkari

Nov 09, 2012, 06:44 IST | Arindam Chaudhuri

What has been most amusing during this entire season of fall and fall of Congress in public perception is how BJP has remained a mute spectator, gaining nothing out of the issue.

 In fact, they have also been busy digging their own grave! Every time a state-level leader with a mass following becomes powerful in BJP and acquires a stature, the big guys in Delhi seem to be too intent to kill that rise.

Strange indeed are the ways of BJP, wherein Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh are the only two who seem to have understood the art of staying alive in BJP! It seems that some Delhi-based BJP leaders, who apparently can win the maximum Rajya Sabha elections, are dictating terms in the party.

For a fact, BJP is not a mother-and-son or father-and-daughter party, where anything and everything can be manipulated. However, the Delhi-based few apparently have become masters at manipulating the 24x7 media and having their way.

So we have a situation where not a single journalist actually went through the track record of Gadkari as a Minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government of 1995 to 1999, but filed stories based on half-baked leaks given by not just patriarchs of Congress, but worse, even the senior-most patriarchs from theBJP.

The fact is that even if Gadkari made his drivers the Directors of his companies, as long as it is legal, there is nothing that can be proven or held against him. It’s common business practice to have directors who can be trusted — and who will sign on the papers that you want them to!

To give Gadkari his due, he is perhaps BJP’s only real visionary leader at this point of time. His stint as the Minister of PWD in Maharashtra saw sweeping changes from the top to bottom, and he created a record in terms of roads built during his tenure, including the Mumbai-Pune highway! Recent controversies apart, I haven’t come across many political leaders with a social vision like his.

He has been a grassroots leader and has not become the President of BJP for nothing. Sure, the BJP can eject Gadkari based on news reports that are Delhi-centric. But can BJP do without Gadkari in the long run? Perhaps no. At a time when BJP seems poised to win the next elections — and there is a clear conspiracy to keep Modi out of the Centre — it’s Gadkari who might become their real saviour.

And why not? After all, who wouldn't love a man who is enough well read to quote with a smile the profound words of John F Kennedy — “American roads are good not because America is rich; but America is rich because American roads are good.” In such words rest not just his ability to speak but also his vision for tomorrow’s India.

— Author is a management guru and hony director of IIPM Think Tank 

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