Tough time ahead for Modi, Shah

Tough time ahead for Modi, Shah

Tough time ahead for Modi, Shah
The first and most serious fallout of the Bihar poll results, which comes after the setback in Delhi early this year, could be the rise of misgivings within the BJP over Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuously playing the role of  BJP’s magician.

A similar assessment could grow of BJP president Amit Shah’s abilities as the chief election manager and hitherto free-run of his functioning though any immediate change in his role is ruled out, say BJP leaders. Shah’s term is due for a renewal early next year.

This will impact the party’s preparations for upcoming elections in Assam, Kerala and West Bengal (where the stakes are high) and Tamil Nadu early next year and in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

Also, a spike in the index of Opposition unity as proven by the success of the Grand Alliance in Bihar could spur a greater coordination among such parties and some allies within the NDA. They have sound reasons to be more belligerent to corner the BJP, according to party leaders.

The NDA government at the Centre is sure to face a strong united opposition during the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament, throwing in jeopardy the proposed passage of some key bills — unless Modi softens his approach for a proper dialogue.

The BJP's plans to increase its strength to controlling the opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha becomes much harder. Like the Shiv Sena, BJP’s alliance partner Akali Dal is also going to be even more assertive ahead of the election in Punjab in 2017.  
Pressure could also grow on Modi to take a hard look at the image of his government and see ways to resuscitate its functioning — if necessary undertaking a serious assessment of performance of ministers, which could may lead to a shake-up.

More importantly, BJP insiders do not rule out the possibility of Modi engaging the RSS leadership again more effectively. He may have to firmly convey to the ideological mentor that it cannot afford further damage to the government’s image because of its focus on controversial issues like beef, which, in any case, failed to bring any electoral dividend.

Many a central minister believes that Modi needs to get the developmental agenda back on track and rein in elements like Sakshi Maharaj, Sadvi Prachhi, Yogi Adityanath and many more. So far, the BJP has been dismissive of the hate talk and the antics of a group even within the government and unable to answer questions on where Modi himself stands.

But Modi's silence on the campaign has put a big question mark on his promises of good governance. However, the RSS may not play ball easily and could flex its muscles, which would need the PM to do tough talking.
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