Nitin Gadkari has always been a leader who has enjoyed a massive support from all across the board of the political spectrum and yet he has remained an out and out BJP guy.
So, when some statements made by Gadkari appear to be hitting out of Modi directly, one cant help but wondering what is going on?
Recently Gadkari made a statement which went something like, “Leaders who make promises and do not keep them get beaten up by the public”
This is being considered as a direct pot shot at Modi, because he is the first person who comes to one’s mind when you think of a leader who makes promises and doesnt keep them …. koffAcheDinkoff
But this is not something new which has come up.
Since the past two years I have been noticing that Gadkari has been keeping a distance from the regular going-ons of the BJP extremists and has tried to portray a moderate face for himself.
I remember a private conference, around one and a half year back, when Gadkari was addressing a group of Heavy Truck Association members, which I had attended in Delhi, someone had asked him what were his views on Ram Mandir.
Gadkari had given a disarming sign and said, “If and when the construction of Ram Mandir comes under the NHAI, I will comment on that, till then why dont we talk about the work of my ministry?”
When I was in Varanasi, a few months back, they were inaugurating a flyover on the airport road. As usual hoardings lined up the entire road leading to the flyover which had a prominent face of Modi and Yogi on it. But the face of Gadkari was missing. But every alternate poster was that of Gadkari and NHAI, in which he stood by himself.
These posters had a bluish background and not the usual BJP colors that their posters have.
And this is not a one off incident. If you ever happen to notice one of the NHAI hoarding on any of the new constructions going on, this is what you will exactly see.
The message is clear. It is Gadkari saying, “I dont want to have any hand in what Modi Sarkar and their band of Gau Rakshaks are up to”.
Other than the one time when Gadkari had attacked Pakistan (verbally) in an interview, he has never appeared to be an obnoxious boor.
Other than the one comment of Gadkari peeing on his oranges (the fruit, no pun intended), he has never made a ridiculous statement.
The Ministry which is under Gadkari is doing extremely well. Yes, they arent really building highways with the rate that they claim, but the NHAI is the only Ministry which is keeping the economy alive at the moment, albeit struggling.
Whatever work is going on in the industry at the moment is being accredited to Gadkari, even by the Industrialists. Infact it appears that Gadkari also enjoys a strong backing of the Construction lobby.
So, whats going on here, really?
Is Gadkari being presented as a BJP alternative to Modi?
Is he being propped up as a PM candidate for the NDA coalition, who would be perhaps more acceptable than Modi by the coalition partners?
Already, many people who are not really Congress Fanbois but dislike BJP for its hardcore Hindutva tactics are likening themselves to Gadkari.
Some of whom I have spoken to have already said that they wouldnt mind seeing Gadkari as the next Prime Minister of India, who would be more moderate face than Modi and a definitely better choice than Rahul Gandhi, with a much better track record than both of them and lesser blemishes.
Perhaps they see Gadkari as an escape route for themselves in their minds, in which they dont have to stand up by someone who is so obviously communal and yet can stay on the side of the right wing?? I wouldnt know.
But, what I dont believe is that Gadkari is going rogue.
Because nothing happens in politics on an emotional impulse, everything is pre-designed with a wider vision.
Now, only time will tell how this new found voice of Gadkari will work with the masses, but at the moment it does appear like some serious work is being done to present a more credible alternative to those voters who dont want to vote for the “corrupt Congress” or the “communal” Modi brigade.
Disclaimer: Meanwhile, Advani ka, Murli Manohar Joshi ka, Yeshwant Sinha ka, Sab ka Badla lega re tera Gadkari
Image Courtesy: Satish Acharya
Post by Darshan Mondkar