Narendra Modi’s Quest for Becoming Prime Minister
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- Category: India
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The name Negros Navigation and SuperFerry will soon be just a part of our memory since the two companies which were already merged under ATS Consolidated will now be called 2GO Travel. Negros Navigation has been a big part of inter-island travel not only for Ilonggos and Negrenses but also for most Filipinos. The company has been a vital link in the economy of the Philippines as it made possible a much efficient shipping of passengers and cargo between the islands. Perhaps, most Negrenses will remember the heartbreaking tragedy of the sinking of Don Juan in 1980 which led to the demise of hundreds of Negrenses. Not even the dissolution of the name will make us forget that tragedy. Negros Navigation History
It is fortunate that a history of the company is still available from its website. I think there’s a big chance that the website may not be available for long since it is currently being redirected to the website of 2Go Travel. Just in case the link will not work, below are some important information on the history of the company or you may download it here. Negros Navigation was established in July 26, 1932 with incorporators from Iloilo and Negros who were mostly sugar planters namely: Julio Ledesma, Vicente Lopez, Januario Jison, Cesar Ledesma, Juan Ledesma, Manuel Hechanova, Antonio Lizares, Nicolas Lizares, Carlos Lopez, Placido Mapa, and Aurelio Montinola. Julio Ledesma became the company’s first Chairman of the Board and President.
Eventhough majority of the stockholders were from Jaro, Iloilo City and the company’s main office was in Iloilo, it is said that the company adopted the name Negros Navigation to avoid confusion since there’s already a company named Iloilo Shipping at that time. It was only in January 1957 that the company opened a branch in Bacolod. Negros Navigation’s first ship was Marapara which the owners acquired even before the company’s incorporation. In 1932 the company acquired another ship named Princess of Negros which sailed twice daily from Iloilo to Silay. With the boom of the sugar industry, there’s a need to have its own wharf in Bacolod thus in 1940, the company started constructing the Banago Wharf. It was inaugurated in 1941 with a big ceremony attended by hundreds of guests.
The Princess of Negros was also instrumental in transporting then President Manuel L. Quezon to the Visayas when he escaped from Corregidor during World War II. In the 60′s Negros Navigation was the first among the domestic shipping companies to operate brand new, fast and luxurious and air conditioned passenger ships with the likes of Don Juan and Doña Florentina plying the Manila-Bacolod-Iloilo route. In 70’s , the company was the first to construct and operate a modern passenger terminal in Manila’s North Harbor. Negros Navigation was also the first to offer special cruises to tourists spots in the Philippines and neighboring Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore with its luxury vessel Doña Monserrat.
We would like to express our gratitude to The Principal of SIES College of Science, Arts and Commerce for giving us the opportunity to do this project and to Prof. Mithun Pillai for the guidance provided during its course.
The Prime Minister of India, as addressed to in the Constitution of India, is the chief of government, chief advisor to the President of India, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament. The Prime Minister leads the executive branch of the Government of India. Narendra Modi
The Prime Minister is the senior member of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. He selects and can dismiss other members of the cabinet; allocates posts to members within the Government; is the presiding member and chairman of the cabinet and is responsible for bringing proposal of legislation. The resignation or death of the Prime Minister dissolves the cabinet. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President to assist the latter in the administration of the affairs of the executive. The incumbent prime minister is Manmohan Singh, in office since 22 May 2004. The next elections which most regional leaders have an eye on are the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. One of the most promising candidates vying for this post is Narendra Modi, who is currently serving his 4th term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Early Life & Social Work
Narendra Modi was born at Vadnagar, Mehsana district in North Gujarat on September 17, 1950 in a middle class OBC family. As a boy in the Indo-Pak war of the mid-sixties, he had volunteered to serve the Indian soldiers during transit at railway stations. He also helped people affected by the flood in Gujarat in 1967. He was elected as the student leader of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (All India Students’ Council) due to his organizational capability and insight into human psychology. Students protesting as part of the Nav Nirman Movement
He has also played prominent roles in various socio-political movements in Gujarat such as the Navnirman Movement. By the end of 1960s and early 1970s, corruption and misgovernance of the Congress government in Gujarat had reached new heights. In 1971, India had defeated Pakistan in war and the Congress government got reelected on the promise of uplifting the poor. This promise turned out to be an empty one as ‘Garibi Hatao’ (eradicate poverty) gradually changed into ‘Garib Hatao’ (eradicate the poor). The life of the poor worsened, and in Gujarat this misery got coupled with a severe famine and steep price rise. Endless queues for basic commodities had become a common sight in the state. There was no respite for the common man. The discontent turned into public anger when in December 1973, a few students of the Morbi Engineering College protested against the exorbitant rise in their food bills.
These protests soon gained widespread support and ignited a state wide mass movement against the government. By 1973, Narendra Modi had displayed a keen interest in social activism and had already participated in several movements against price rise, inflation and other issues affecting the common man. As a young Pracharak and associate of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Narendra joined the Navnirman movement and dutifully performed the tasks assigned to him. He joined the Gujarat University to complete his post-graduation in political science. He started working with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a socio-cultural organization with stern a focus on social and cultural development of India which familiarized Modi with qualities like selflessness, social responsibility, dedication and nationalism. Narendra Modi in his tenure with the RSS played several important roles on various occasions including the harrowing 19 months (June 1975 to March 1977), a ‘state of emergency’ when the fundamental rights of Indian citizens were strangled.
Ascent in Politics
Narendra Modi after being sworn in as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2001 In 1987 he joined the BJP and entered mainstream politics. Within just a year, he was elevated to the rank of General Secretary of the Gujarat unit of BJP. By this time he had already acquired a reputation in the party for being a highly efficient organizer. He took the challenging task of making the party cadres with right intent after which the party started gaining political mileage and formed a coalition government at the Centre in April 1990. Though this partnership was short-lived and fell apart within a few months, but the BJP gained hold of Gujarat and came to power with a two-third majority on its own in Gujarat in 1995. Since then, the BJP has been director of Gujarat. Due to his work from 1988 and 1995, Narendra Modi was now recognized as a master strategist and had successfully gained the necessary groundwork for making the Gujarat BJP the ruling party of the state. Modi in this period was entrusted wi th the responsibility of organizing two massive and crucial national events for the BJP.
First was the Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra of L.K. Advani and Kanyakumari (the southern part of India), to Kashmir in the. These two highly successful events handled by Modi are regarded as the reason for the ascent of the BJP to power in New Delhi in 1998. In 1995, Modi was appointed the National Secretary of the party and given the charge of five major states in India, a rare distinction for a young leader. In 1998, he was promoted as the General Secretary (Organization) of BJP, a post he held until October 2001, when he was chosen to lead the state of Gujarat as Chief Minister of Gujarat. The biggest challenge which Narendra Modi had to face when he took over as the chief minister was the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas. Bhuj was a city of rubble. People were living in temporary shelters without basic infrastructure. Earthquake recovery became his first priority. His dynamic vision and quick decisions have put Gujarat Reconstruction Program as one of the best reconstruction programs on the global map and set a benchmark for reconstruction and disaster recovery, not only in India, but also in the entire Asia, for which he achieved global recognition.
Gujarat Under Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi has been successful in gaining the trust of not only people of Gujarat but also a large number of people in the whole of India. He has done hard work in the past 10 years in areas such as growth, agriculture, decline in poverty, rise in literacy level and promoting girl’s education. Under Modi, Gujarat has transformed into one of the most developed states in India. Gujarat ranks among the most urbanized states in India with about 42.5% of the state’s population living in urban areas. The state has 8 Municipal Corporations and 159 municipalities and some of its cities are among the fastest growing in the world. Recently, Ahmedabad was declared the best of India’s Mega Cities and it was declared the 3rd fastest growing city in the world by Forbes, ranking behind only Chengdu and Chongqing. Poster for “Nirmal Gujarat” drive
The state’s plan provision for urban infrastructure stands at Rs.5670 crore, which is a 45 times increase from the expenditure that merely stood at Rs.127 crore in 2000-2001. Right at the beginning of his tenure, Modi envisioned the launch of 2 programmes dedicated to the improvement of urban areas across the length and breadth of Gujarat. There was the ‘Urban Year’ initiative, which was a large-scale drive to improve urban infrastructure and amenities. The Nirmal Gujarat annual drive was started with the quest for all round cleanliness, sanitation, integrated waste management, rejuvenation of water bodies, expansion of green cover and energy efficiency.
In the last decade, the Government has started a series of programmes dedicated to urban areas that have generated wonderful results. Gujaratis have entrepreneurship in their veins and are blessed with the urge to derive maximum utility out of any given thing. Keeping this ethos in mind the state Government came up with a similar Mantra of developing the state’s urban space with the ‘2 for 1’ Mantra as encapsulated by the Twin City Model. Through this model, the Government aims to bring together cities that are in geographic proximity but where there is a gap in their pace of development. Gujarat has embraced the Twin City Model very innovatively and is developing vibrant twin cities like Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad, Surendranagar-Wadhwan, Surat-Navsari, Vadodara-Halol, Bharuch-Ankleshwar and Morbi-Wankaner. These Twin Cities will add renewed strength to Gujarat’s quest for development and good governance. Futuristic Vision
The efforts of the Gujarat Government have not stopped at focusing on the development of present cities. Apart from the Twin City Model for existing cities, Gujarat is creating 6 world-class cities in Gujarat. Take for instance Dholera- this mega city will be double the size of Delhi, 6 times the size of Shanghai and far ahead in terms of facilities offered. Today, Dholera is on the map of the world but years ago, few imagined that there would be so much capital in this place. Similarly, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City is a one of its kind initiative, which is being designed as a hub for global finance services. Just recently, Gujarat’s tallest tower in the GIFT premises was inaugurated by Narendra Modi himself. Narendra Modi at the inauguration of the GIFT Tower
Gujarat’s ports have become the gateway to the nation for people from across the world. The state always had the longest coastline but it wasn’t till a decade ago that there was a concrete plan to script a new chapter of development on the state’s coasts. Be it Mundra or Dahej, Gujarat’s ports are thriving and this would not have been possible without a pro-active Government. Strengthening Urban Infrastructure
The state identified 50 towns and is working on solid waste management initiatives there. At the same time, the state Government has identified towns, which they seek to strengthen with state of the art facilities. By doing this, more towns with proper facilities can be developed and it will also reduce the number of people moving to bigger cities for opportunities. Taking Facilities To The Village
The Modi Model of balanced development is simple. In the past 11 years he has taken facilities that are associated with the cities to the villages and the differences are for all to see, take for instance electricity. When Modi assumed office, a common demand people made was to provide electricity so that they can have their evening meal. That is when the state Government conceived the Jyotigram Yojana, of providing 3 phase uninterrupted power supply to villages. Due to Jyotigram Yojana the Government could introduce latest technology in the classrooms. After computers they added broadband connectivity and after that they looked towards long distance learning. A student from a small village in Gujarat can learn from a professor of a reputed institution based in a city. Growth
The relevant comparison here is with larger, richer states. Based on per-capita Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) in 2009-10, Gujarat ranks third, behind Maharashtra and Haryana but ahead of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab and Karnataka in that order. The rate during the preceding eight years, 1994-02, was 5.9%, behind only Haryana’s 6.3%.Modi came to office in October 2001. In the following eight years spanning 2002-03 to 2009-10 (2002-10), NSDP grew at 10.5% annual rate in Gujarat and at 10.1% in the nearest competitor, Maharashtra. Modi inherited a vibrant economy and has taken it to new heights. Gujarat had ranked sixth in terms of per-capita NSDP in 2002-03. Outperforming Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Punjab, it moved up to the third spot in 2005-06 and has remained there.
While the performance in agriculture has received the greatest attention, perhaps the most exceptional feature of Gujarat’s success has been the performance of manufacturing. Compared with the national average of 15%, manufacturing in Gujarat accounted for 27.4% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2009-10.
Critics might say that this proportion has risen only one percentage point since 2002-03. But given the uphill battle manufacturing faces in India, even maintaining the share at this high level is a challenge. In all comparator states, this share has been below 20%. Moreover, with the exception of Punjab, none has been able to raise it by more than a percentage point during 2002-10. Decline in Poverty
With a high and rapidly rising per-capita income, it should come as no surprise that Gujarat has a significantly lower poverty ratio than India as a whole and it is fast declining. Based on the Tendulkar poverty lines and methodology, overall poverty in Gujarat fell by only six percentage points during 11 years between 1993-94 and 2004-05. But during just five years between 2004-05 and 2009-10, it fell an impressive nine percentage points. In 2009-10, the poverty ratio in Gujarat at 23% was almost seven percentage points below the national average. Critics frequently deride the exceptional growth in Gujarat by pointing to its lack of achievement in the social sectors. But they often do so by focusing on selective indicators. A consideration of a broad set of indicators hardly offers an indictment of the state even in social sectors. Rise in Education
Gujarat added 10 percentage points to the literacy rate during 2001-11, more than any other comparator state. At 79.3%, the literacy rate now stands one percentage point behind Tamil Nadu and three percentage points behind Maharashtra. Indeed, once we take into account the low literacy level of Gujarat at Independence, its progress looks more impressive than that of even Kerala.
Modi as a Mass Leader
Supporters in masks resembling Narendra Modi
Although Modi has been severely censured for not arresting the riots that lead to the massacre of hundreds of Muslims, such criticism only cemented his image as a leader who had ‘protected’ Hindus. For many Indians he is a possible prime minister and for others he is a Hindu zealot. Surprisingly, although he has mostly remained confined to Gujarat, Modi has takers in all parts of the country. His appeal is widespread: some see him as a national security hero and for some he is a development man, but what is baffling is that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not seem too eager to project him as its prime ministerial candidate. Analysts believe that such a move could botch the party’s chances to come back to power at the Centre. The problem for Modi is that he is still remembered for being in office during the Gujarat riots in 2002 and for years Modi was a political pariah, vilified at home and shunned by the West. A policy turnaround on London’s part to renew political ties with Gujarat has come as a major boost for Modi’s quest to be accepted as a mainstream political leader. Many of his critics say despite his attempts to refurbish his image, the ghosts of Godhra will continue to haunt him.
Engaging with the people
Despite criticisms, Modi still remains popular. An example of his interaction with the people is given below: “As he walks up to the dais, the crowd breaks into applause. He waves like a king and pauses before he begins his speech.The unruly crowd soon settles down. Modi’s biggest strength lies in his direct connect with the people, whom he engages with ease. Instead of delivering a speech, he talks to the crowd, asking questions and touching nerves. He makes them laugh as he derides Congress, and even the mention of “Soniaben” raises laughter from the crowd, which expects acerbic deliveries to follow. He laughs with them, obliges them and then turns derision to anger. From asking Sonia to do her “homework”, he roars on Prime Minister’s comment on “minorities living in fear” as he tears into the Congress and many in the crowd nod in agreement.
He asks questions and waits for answers, making his speeches more of a dialogue. In between he punches in the most important message – vote for BJP in Gujarat to get rid of Congress in Delhi.
And his message is not lost on a receptive crowd.”
Connecting with the people
Modi addressing the people using holographic technology
Even his worst detractors admit that Narendra Modi has used technology optimally to his advantage. It is this aspect of Narendra Modi that lends him a young and efficient persona, making him irresistible to elite urban voters. While he has been very active on Twitter, his website Narendramodi.in continues to draw large number of visitors. He also participated in a Google+ hangout where he interacted with the youth in a first for the politicos in India. In a first of its kind, he also had a mobile application, which connected him to smartphone users. But he pulled out the biggest rabbit when he campaigned across the state through three dimensional holographic projection technology, again a first for Indian politics. While the first few addresses saw some glitches, the process was a big hit with Gujarati voters, arousing appreciation from the urban ones and awe from those in the rural areas. Image made by a Modi supporter
Criticisms of Narendra Modi
Every conversation about Narendra Modi turns inevitably to the Godhra riots. But most Indians view the events of 2002 as ancient history. They don’t want to move on. They have, in fact, already moved on. However, there are other factors that could hinder Modi’s chances of becoming the Prime Minister. Man versus Party
If Modi were running for the highest office in the United States – where the candidate is all — his prospects would be bright indeed. India is a parliamentary democracy, where the individual matters far less than the party. There are exceptions. A regional leader can start his or her own party (a la Mamata Bannerjee), but it does not work at the national level. Or else one family can dominate a national party, but that requires the advantage of dynasty. Any BJP candidate for the top post has to be a party man – and enjoy the unqualified backing of its political sibling, the RSS. Modi instead has made a career of alienating the leadership of both. He is the rare Pracharak who rode the RSS coattails to power, but ruthlessly marginalized his own sponsors once in power. As former Gujarat chief minister Suresh Mehta said, “The RSS unit in Gujarat in toto is against him, from the Prant Pracharak to the lowest worker.
Modi has broken the Sangh; broken the party. He has raised his own personal stake so high, he has decimated the party structures.” The local BJP organisations too have been rendered impotent and irrelevant. Despite the pomp and glory of the recent BJP meet, Modi’s elevation was, at best, a grudging acknowledgement of his power by a party leadership beset by the TINA problem. As one RSS leader told Caravan, “Shivling mein bichhu baitha hai. Na usko haath se utaar sakte ho, na usko joota maar sakte ho.” (A scorpion is sitting on the Shivling, a symbol of Lord Shiva. It can neither be removed by hand nor killed with a shoe.) That’s a sentiment undoubtedly shared by much of his party’s leadership, from Nitin Gadkari to L.K Advani, once Modi’s protector. It’s hard to thrive in a parliamentary system when your own people don’t like you very much. The Petty ‘I’
Much is made of Modi’s megalomania, but a giant-sized ego is almost a requirement for a successful political career. The real problem lies in a “scorched earth” policy of retribution that creates unnecessary enmity – epitomised in the unseemly ouster of Sanjay Joshi. He had to be evicted from the party meet in Mumbai, prevented from taking the train to Delhi, and then summarily ousted from the party. It was NOT enough to win, his enemy had to be stripped and paraded in public. But in insisting on his pound of flesh, Modi alienated everyone, including his party bosses who were now seen as cravenly submitting to his irrational demands.
Whatever private satisfaction he gained from Joshi’s humiliation was undone by its political costs – creating a giant public rift at a moment when an image of party unity was urgently required. (Joshi is not an exception, but part of an entrenched pattern in Modi’s career – he most famously made sure that the crowds were kept away from a Vajpayee rally in his state to underline his power and score a political point.) All politicians like to settle scores, but rarely at the cost of their – or their party’s – political fortunes. And once he is in the national spotlight, such tantrums virtually assure Modi a never-ending stream of bad press, making the great man wannabe look small-minded and mean. For a man used to grand epithets – as Tehelka points out – be they “mass murderer” or “Hindu Hriday Samrat,” playing the BJP’s poster boy of pettiness is a singular downgrade.
Divide and Fall
Narendra Modi with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President L.K Advani That Modi is polarising is now a cliché. Modi evokes extreme emotions, and all other issues recede into the background once he comes into the picture. The debate turns into a battle over the merits of the man himself, which bodes ill for the BJP. Modi supporters note the irony that the party needs him, but cannot really risk positioning him as the prime ministerial candidate for 2014. Doing this would immediately turn the election into a highly-polarised referendum on Modi rather than the UPA’s bad governance. Modi truly inspires a loyal and formidable following, but at a price far too high to win a general election. The Playground Bully
Modi can’t play nicely with others. That works fine when his sandbox is limited to Gujarat — a world where his way IS the highway. But New Delhi is an entirely different ballgame. The man who inherited a state with a two-thirds BJP majority is ill-equipped to managing a fractious and precarious coalition with egos almost as outsized as his own. He can bully the BJP national enclave into falling in line on Sanjay Joshi, but as Prime Minister he will soon find out that a Jayalalithaa can out-sulk him any day. An important part of coalition politics is learning to win some and lose some. In a way, Manmohan Singh has survived as long as he has, because he is quick to bend – though increasingly at the cost of being ineffectual. Modi may be every bit as impotent in New Delhi for the exactly the opposite reason. The Charm Deficit
While a broad streak of authoritarianism is hardly a disadvantage in a nation that still worships Indira Gandhi, Indians like their uber-strong leaders served to them with a hearty helping of paternal benevolence, be it Indira Gandhi or Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The investment rates in Gujarat may be important to the urban middle class, but the average Indian is looking for a leader who inspires trust and affection. Modi suffers from a charm deficit disorder that’s lethal for a politician in national retail politics. The “Loh Purush” has all the warmth of stainless steel. His cool detachment makes for bad television, and even his favourable media stories emphasise a technocratic competence and impersonal integrity. The often-touted fact that his mother still lives in a one room apartment may be evidence of his anti-nepotism, but it hardly makes for a “good son” story that can bring a tear to the eyes of his audience in, say, a village in Chikmagalur. India is not Gujarat (or China)
Modi is lionised by a section of the middle class because as Vinod Jose points out in his profile in Caravan magazine, “he appears to prefer power to money, which is a particularly appealing proposition for voters who regard most politicians as corrupt, ineffective and weak.” He is the man who can get things done and has been able to deliver their dream state – one with minimal red tape, where a file goes through five people not 30, and the markers of progress are out there, ostentatiously displayed for everyone to see. “But the problem for him is, Gujarat is not India,” according to political commentators. Gujarat is more industrialised, more urbanised, and more homogeneous than most other Indian states – and therefore more receptive to Modi’s corporate Hindutva message.
Even the Muslim community, (10 percent of the state) is largely Bohra and Memon, business communities that are amenable to working with Modi. Modi’s also been able to turn all criticism about Godhra into an attack on Gujarati asmita (pride). But it will be near impossible to repurpose the inevitable flak generated by the campaign trail as an attack on the country. Modi is not India. For huge swathes of India, the dream is not a Shanghai-style GIFT city rising out of barren wastelands. And even those on the development bandwagon have their doubts. Someone like Modi at the helm is the dream of a certain section of middle-class India that is impatient with the snail’s pace of progress in a parliamentary democracy, and yearns for a no-nonsense strongman who will not pander to any vested interest. But that fantasy of Modi, the CEO-CM, does not make Modi, the CEO-PM, any more likely. Modi will only be able to govern — at all — if he gets his party’s nomination and if he then delivers a two-thirds Lok Sabha majority and if he then gets control of all the ministries he wants. Anything less, and he is likely never to govern at all — or not for very long.
Narendra Modi on the March 26, 2012 edition of TIME Magazine Modi has had an enviable record as the chief minister of Gujarat, with an annual growth rate of 10.08 per cent for the state in the seven years through March 2011 at constant prices. In the eight years through March 2002 (Modi took office in October 2001), it was 6.16 per cent. If he overcomes all challenges and does eventually don the prime ministerial mantle, he will need to learn to be more conscious of the compulsions of taking the allies along in a coalition. He will indeed have to live down his imperiousness and to be more accommodative. Yet, there is no doubt that though his potential on the national stage is untested, his reputation for not hesitating to take hard decisions will stand him in good stead. Coming after a prime minister who is deemed to be ‘spineless’ and given to surrendering his authority to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on many matters, Modi will essentially be his own man, wielding real power. However, if he carries his strong exercise of authority too far, he could well ruffle feathers within the coalition. Strong rule tempered by tact and understanding would perhaps be the way forward.
The BJP can take comfort from the fact that with Modi’s business-friendly image, some big business houses would open their purse strings for the party if he is at the helm. On the other hand, with expectations being high, Modi would have to get on with economic reforms strongly. Most of all, Modi would have to shed his image of being anti-Muslim. The stigma of his inaction when Muslims were being attacked in the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat will need to be gradually neutralized so that the bedrock of Indian nationhood-secularism— is preserved and nurtured. Yet, a growing number of Indians are fed up of the politics of appeasement that the Congress practices. The Muslims themselves look upon it with suspicion and feel that they have been short-changed, with only a relatively small number benefitting from Congress schemes. There indeed are too many ifs and buts with regard to Modi’s assumption of prime ministership. But considering that the UPA is losing support, there could be a chance for the BJP and its allies if they play their cards skillfully. If the BJP leads the pack, Delhi will be within the reach of Narendra Modi.