Modi can’t stop thinking. It was whilst wandering in the Himalayas, as a young adult, that he decided to make the RSS his karm bhoomi, developed his vision of what he wanted to do and how. Should he revisit those grassy slopes and rugged peaks again to refresh his mind? Kedarnath is waiting.
But this is unlikely. Those times are long gone; subsumed by the mechanics of leading a juggernaut. He will be the first of India’s popularly elected CEOs, having managed both a party and a state. Being a CEO, it is unlikely that he will be looking to conceive a game plan. He will bring one with him with all the homework done.
The only thing which could occupy his mind would be his strategy for managing less than a majority verdict on May 16. Should that happen, BJP stalwarts, existing and potential allies would all prefer him out and a weaker BJP PM. After all, the winner takes all in our system and that does not suit anyone, except the winner. Yes the BJP has won and by corollary so has the RSS but the real winner is Modi…..and no one likes that, least of all his own colleagues.
His biggest card to remain in control, if BJP is in a minority, would be to propose that lacking a mandate, they should not form a government.
This aligns with the party’s stand in the Delhi elections and is sufficiently high minded to have wide appeal. Without Modi’s consent and cooperation, the BJP/RSS have no hope of being able to form a minority government with someone else as PM, even if potential allies are available on this condition only. This leaves only two option for the party; Modi as PM even in a coalition government or for the BJP to opt out.
There is very little down side for the BJP in opting out. The rag-tag government, which could be formed with the congress and others, or the impossible but gender responsive trio of Amma, Mayawati and Didi, who between them may have numbers similar to the Congress (sub 100), is sure to collapse, Janta Dal/United Front style.
Conversely, for the BJP, forming a minority government is fraught with the danger of failing to live up to the lavish promises they have made and the even higher expectations they have aroused. In many ways their conundrum would be similar, to what the AAP faced in Delhi. How does one explain the inability to rule when offered the chance, even with ones hands tied behind ones back?
Does this compulsion to form a government, weaken Modi’s bargaining power to remain in control? Certainly not. Modi has become so much the face of the BJP and the RSS, that a BJP government without him is inconceivable.
Of course adopting this hard stand would fast forward, what must be Modi’s long term plan. To soar as an independent eagle watchful, above the fray, swift as lightning in action but unfettered by “earthly” concerns, ties and social commitments. After all, it is not for nothing that the Gods reside where the eagles soar.
If the unfortunate scenario, of less than a majority mandate to rule, fructifies, which way Modi jumps will be determined by the real circumference of his chest and the extent to which he has learnt from the Gir Lion, he is so justifiably proud of. I suspect he will not be found wanting.