It has to be remembered that Swaraj was once regarded as a strong candidate for the post of prime minister. The way things work in the political establishment is that people are usually given their due if they wait for their turn. There have been many who resent Modi’s ascendance to power, but have chosen to stay silent. Perhaps, Swaraj has support among the anti-Modi faction in the BJP.

– Swarajya Magazine

The recent controversy that commenced after the arbitrary transfer of a passport officer named Vikas Mishra from Lucknow regional Passport office hugely dominated the mainstream political discussion for a considerable period. Had it not been for the ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament, in all probability, this issue could have stretched for some more time. But, in a Country like India where problems keep coming and going like Sea-tide, today’s hot-potato may not necessarily be the talk of the town tomorrow.

On one hand, Ram Madhav of BJP came forward playing defense for the foreign minister through one of his articles in the Indian Express and on the other hand Delhi University’s leftist Professor Apoorvanand pens a hypocritical piece full of ill-educated remarks about crime and punishment evidencing his intellectual hollowness, to counter Ram Madhav in the same Newspaper, later.

But, apart from these popular mud-slinging discourse that dominates almost every debate in India today, an opinion piece published in Swarajya Magazine on 5th of July, did a fantastic analysis of the entire sordid episode. The article argues that Mrs. Sushma Swaraj may be eyeing on the Prime Ministerial post in the upcoming 2019 elections and the arguments advanced by the author are considerably convincing for many reasons.

The piece argues, “It has to be remembered that Swaraj was once regarded as a strong candidate for the post of prime minister. The way things work in the political establishment is that people are usually given their due if they wait for their turn. There have been many who resent Modi’s ascendance to power, but have chosen to stay silent. Perhaps, Swaraj has support among the anti-Modi faction in the BJP.”

This is an open secret that Sushma Swaraj has Prime Ministerial ambition, and it shall not die so quickly. In 2009, when she had been declared as the leader of opposition in Loksabha side-lining more senior leader L.K Advani, everybody had thought that the next rational step would be to announce her the Prime Ministerial candidate in the upcoming General elections, but that did not happen. The RSS’s decision to rally behind Modi in 2014, shattered her dreams of being the Indian Prime Minister. This must have been an excruciating experience for her, and in all probability, it continues to do so.

Sushma Swaraj was considered to be a part of the ‘Advani-camp,’ the internal faction of disgruntled BJP leaders before 2014 General elections. If the murmuration of the national power corridors is to be believed, there were some senior leaders in BJP who didn’t want the Party to gain the majority in 2014 and did not wish to see Modi becoming the Prime Minister. The list of these disgruntled leaders, inter alia, included Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh. There are many internal controversial stories of these disgruntled leaders that suggest that no stone had been left unturned to sabotage the BJP’s plan to achieve the majority in 2014 elections. Rajnath Singh was at the forefront and more active than Sushma Swaraj in this internal dirty political play. Though both these leaders have not been sidelined by Modi after he became the Prime Minister, their importance proportional to their stature has certainly diminished in Modi-Shah led BJP.

Swaraj and left-liberals

Siddhartha Varadarajan, the co-founder of ‘thewire.in’, writes in one of his blogs for NDTV that, ‘When a reporter asked her for a soundbite soon after a Pakistani court granted bail to Lashkar terrorist Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, Sushma balked, saying the Prime Minister would react first.’ This suggests the sorry state of affairs that she is being made to go through. There is no doubt that Sushma Swaraj is a brilliant lady with great political acumen. She must be silently waiting for the right opportunity to come for her so that she can make her ambition turn real.

In the passport controversy, Sushma Swaraj blocked many Twitter trolls abusing and cursing her. Alternatively, as a new method of protest, she liked some of these tweets. However, not all of them questioning her were trolls. There were some polite-worded questions too from some sane voices on the right side that she conveniently chose to dodge by dismissing them as trolls. But, the most interesting out of all these happenings was that she unblocked a Twitter troll whom she had blocked earlier. This Twitter troll that goes by the name of ‘Unofficial Sususwamy’ primarily targets BJP, RSS, and Prime Minister Modi. Only Swaraj can tell us why she had to do this. These things are of course open to political interpretation. In this entire controversy, the whole of left-liberal eco-system proffered itself in defense of Swaraj.

The people on the right side of the political spectrum who had defended Swaraj at many uncomfortable occasions for her such as Lalit-Modi controversy etc. felt humiliated and deceived. But, they should understand that emotion does not have too much place in politics, particularly, the politics of power. Sushma Swaraj being an intelligent leader understand it quite brilliantly that if BJP falls short of the majority in 2019, it is the left-liberal ecosystem that shall come in her support, argue for her and create political environment and ground for her to be the Prime Minister. Sushma Swaraj understands the importance of present day’s prevalent political secularism. For her, the purpose of this secularism is secularism of purpose.

Political Throne

There are specific substantiating materials on record that strongly suggests that all these presumptions and speculations are not unfounded and can’t be dismissed lightly. For instance, P. Chidambaram, the senior Congress leader in of his recent articles for the Indian Express said that Sushma Swaraj should have been the natural choice of the Prime Minister in 2014. In June 2017, Mamata Banerjee had announced that Sushma Swaraj should have been the Presidential candidate. Barely two months before Bal Thackrey passed away in November 2012, he had openly argued for Swaraj’s Prime Ministerial candidature in 2014. There are many more examples like these that suggests Swaraj’s strength within as well as outside the Party. There is no reason that she would not be thinking to take advantage of her affable and acceptable personality. But, for this, her Party should fall short of the magic number of 272 in the upcoming General elections. Passport controversy portrays that she has started preparing her political grounds for this purpose. This can’t be just a mere coincidence that in the entire political leadership of BJP, only Rajnath Singh, came in her so-called support, that too after much delay, and probably after lots of political calculation. Rajnath Singh’s so-called support to Swaraj is just a camouflage of his real intention of being in the line-up to the Prime Ministerial post in 2019.

By supporting Sushma, he has impliedly conveyed to Swaraj that she shall not go unopposed for the Prime Ministerial post in case the Party falls short of the majority in 2019. He has perhaps sensed Swaraj’s real intention. Therefore, he has also proved his secular credentials by standing with Swaraj against her trolling. This is not a hidden fact that Rajnath Singh has time and again indulged in minority appeasement in the expectation of professing his dream to be at the top post. The political volcanoes are bound to burst in BJP, though on a small scale the process has already started. The people need to wait and watch. Only time can tell us that who shall sit on the throne and who shall be thrown away in the dust of time.

Further, Read More:

From Governor’s rule in Kashmir to 2019 Elections: One Grand, but Risky Plan

The Politician, Party and the Paradox: Dr. S.P. Mukherjee and the Hypocrisy of BJP


Rohit Kumar

Rohit Kumar is a law graduate, an RTI activist and a former SBI Youth for India Fellow (2017-18) Batch.

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