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Narendra Modi, a right choice for PM of India

Greed, they say, is not always bad. And if the end result of this greed pertains to a good cause, then one doesn't need to cajole his conscience either. But people often get lost somewhere in the middle and lose sight of their focus.

Narendra Modi, without taking into considerations the comments and appraisals of his political rivals and critics, is a political idol without a shadow of doubt. The nature of respect he commands throughout Gujarat is awe-inspiring. And after the end of Vajpayee era, he is the lone warrior standing tall in the NDA camp, often giving sleepless nights to the UPA government. He can retain the chair of CM of Gujarat as long as he wishes and presumably there is no one in the state who can give him even a close fight. But that's not the point. The point is, can he be projected as a potential PM candidate? And even if he fights against all the odds and gets there, would he be able to do justice to the position which millions can only dream of?

One needs to weigh all the pros and cons of this possible situation. There is no denying the fact that Narendra Modi is obsessed with the power he gets to enjoy as the Gujarat CM. He is a total control freak who wants even the movement of a shade of grass in his state to be under his authority. He would never ever want to let go of his position for a lesser cause. But going by the recently concluded 'Sadbhavna' fast in Ahmedabad, he has silently put forth his desire. And the report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) has acted as an icing on the cake. But the report has acted as a double- edged sword. According to the report, Gujarat under Modi has the most effective governance amongst all the states in India followed by Bihar under Nitish Kumar. Now Nitish Kumar is the one person on the current political circuit who can command the NDA against Modi, if he ever wishes so. Even Modi knows that if the current UPA government is voted out of power in next Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar is the only person who can come between him and his dream.

Now there arises the sense of insecurity on Modi's part. Another not-so-encouraging feature of Modi's political personality is his ways of handling religious issues. Even when most of the Muslims and other Minority groups are claiming to be satisfied under Modi, there is still much left to be done in this area. And secularism is one of the fields where the Bihar CM can score some brownie points over Modi. Though he claims that he has risen above religions and castes, he is still very much the poster boy of 'Hindutva' and RSS. Even though Modi seems to be doing nothing wrong these days, he is still pretty much haunted by his alleged involvement in Godhra riot case; and as is truly said- 'Corpses are not buried in politics. They are kept alive so that they can speak when the time comes.' So no prizes for guessing that Modi will have a very tough time ahead maintaining a balance between his image of a staunch enthusiast of Hinduism and keeping Muslims content, if becomes the next PM.

But no matter how much we try to bring out the negativities in him, we cannot miss the charisma he radiates. He is the finest manager of Indian media amongst all leaders. He has excellent organisational capabilities, dynamic personality and can motivate even a corpse to move with his powerful words, to name a few of his qualities. And the business stalwarts of the country (read Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani etc) seem to be in awe of him. The fact that GDP growth rate in Gujarat has been 11.05% over the past few years (a number that has been well publicised by the Gujarat government) as against the national value of 9% is something one cannot overlook. The looks of the power hubs of the state, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and Surat have been turned upside down, leaving the other cities of the country gasping for breath. Gujarat is quickly turning into an economically and industrially ideal state, something which other states will look up to as an example. If we consider the aspect of a leader's willpower to bring positive changes in his/her constituency skipping the other attributes, then Narendra Modi undeniably stands out amongst his counterparts in other states, maybe even leaving behind his arch-rival, Nitish Kumar. But then again, there are a whole lot of other facets which need to be taken into consideration when we are talking about the most powerful face of the world's largest democracy.

If the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2014 see a shift of power from the reigning UPA coalition to the NDA (chances of the third front forming a government are very glim), then this debate will turn into an unavoidable situation. But then instead of writing columns and airing programs on televisions pondering over who should be the right choice, we should better let the country and its people decide. But the truth being the truth, Narendra Modi certainly enjoys a clear lack of competition inside his own bloc.

The bottom line is, like most of the realistic political situations, it is extremely tough to take a side (only when someone is not paid to do the same). The sine qua non for having a luxury to choose amongst suitable candidates is their availability, and the truth is that we don't have too many viable options in this regard. Do we?

Rishav Jha