For Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Narendra Modi is the ‘man of the moment’. So, while party chief Rajnath Singh finally handed over the reins of BJP’s election campaign for 2014 to the Gujarat chief minister on Sunday afternoon in Panaji, the ripples were felt across the country, including here. The city wing of BJP is considered the citadel of former party president Nitin Gadkari.
But yesterday was a different story, as workers organised ‘anandotsav’ at their office located near Appa Balwant Chowk. According to political experts, the major reason behind celebrating Modi’s victory in the city is the feeling of insecurity among party workers, who had no choice left for them but to support Modi, to secure their future.
“BJP not only dumped Gadkari after his name got entangled in the irrigation scam, but has also not given any important position in the party to him after his resignation as president. The so-called Gadkari supporters in the city are now aware that they have to change their loyalties if they want to secure their future in the party and that was the major reason behindcelebrating Modi’s victory,” said political scholar Dr Nitin Birmal.
Two years after Gadkari was appointed as BJP’s national president in 2009, he fielded his Man Friday Vikas Mathkari as the party’s city president. Since then Mathkari had been maintaining his strong hold on the city until January this year when he fell sick and the post became vacant.
Gadkari’s resignation from BJP’s national presidentship and Mathkari’s illness resulted in the former losing his grip over the city and the leaders from other factions -- especially supporters of deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde -- started giving public appearances by attending party meetings, which they never attempted in Mathkari’s reign.
“We celebrated Modi’s victory and I am sure if Gadkari would have been there as party’s national president he would also have joined in this merriment. There are no factions in the party and now we are looking forward to fighting the 2014 election under Modi’s leadership,” said BJP corporator Shrinath Bhimale.
Another party leader Shripad Dhekane said that this was not the first time that the party’s city wing celebrated Modi’s good fortune. They also commemorated his re-election as Gujarat’s CM last December.