BJP still divided on Modi’s elevation, say experts

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) The appointment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s campaign chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls Sunday did not mark a generational change but indicated divisions within the party and was dangerous for the country, said experts.

“This is not a generational change. Modi is already 62 and most other party leaders are in that age bracket,” Zoya Hasan, who teaches political science at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, told IANS.

“His elevation is dangerous for the country’s pluralism and justice. He is authoritative and almost forced his way up in the party,” she said.

According to Nisar-ul-Haq, who teaches political science at the Jamia Millia Islamia, Modi’s appointment showed the BJP was still a divided house.

“The BJP looks divided. There was no smooth transition of power. L.K. Advani and other leaders did not attend the Goa conclave. These leaders will not accept him as their leader,” Haq told IANS.

Political commentator N. Bhaskara Rao termed Modi’s appointment as a generational change, marking a new era in the party.

“None of the leaders who spoke after the decision mentioned Advani. It is a new era in the BJP,” Rao told IANS.

The announcement of Modi’s appointment was made by BJP president Rajnath Singh in Goa.

The impact of the decision would take some time to show, said the experts.

While both Hasan and Haq said Modi’s elevation would not bring too many electoral benefits to the BJP, Rao said the move would bring in a “decisive leadership” but would promote “parochial politics”, which is the opposite of “inclusive politics”.

“It would take around seven to eight months to show if the move would bring any electoral benefits to the BJP. It is difficult to say that the party will sweep the 2014 polls,” said Haq.

“There would be no big electoral gain except in some states,” said Hasan.

“Modi’s elevation would see a more decisive leadership but would also see more parochial politics which is the opposite of inclusive politics practiced by the Congress,” said Rao.

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