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Sumit Raina | HENB | New Delhi | April 15, 2017:: Senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy said Hindutva and not most of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal appeal was the key factor in the BJP’s recent electoral victories in Uttar Pradesh and other states.
Swamy, who spoke to The Huffington Post, said: “We (BJP) can’t do without Modi because he is a man who has made a name, he has good habits, and he is a good man. We think well of him. But we don’t think that by himself he can deliver a victory because no individual is like that. He spoke only of governance and that was not enough. So, I would say Modi, Hindutva and anti-corruption.”
Swamy, whose controversial remarks have often put the BJP on the back foot said his advice to the party was that governance is a necessary condition for achieving electoral victory, but not “the sufficient condition”.
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“For sufficient, you needed some sentimental issues. For us, for the BJP, the sentimental issue was Hindutva. And unless we articulate that, we will not be able to win.”
Swamy said, “Certainly, without Modi we could not have done it, but Modi was not enough. And that is where we articulated this Hindutva – of uniting the Hindus and dividing the minorities. That was a reversal of the Congress party (strategy) of dividing the Hindus and uniting the minorities. For the next Lok Sabha election we will definitely package it thus — fighting corruption, Hindutva and governance.”
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Swamy also said, “The prime minister is a pracharak of the RSS. So, if you peel off his exterior, it is all Hindutva. I don’t believe there is anything fake about him. But he sold an idea that you must now expand. This is the mistake that Vajpayee made. He lost his basic following and the people whom he cultivated didn’t come (to his support). So, he was badly defeated.”
Asked why Modi was not openly talking about Hindutva, Swamy said, “Perhaps he has friends who have told him. Delhi is a strange place. In Gujarat, nobody told him. Now you have to face the world. You must now appear to be liberal, that sort of thing.”
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Swamy said he has often cited examples of “magnificent governance” done by Morarji Desai, who lost the election, Narasimha Rao, who transformed the Indian economy completely but lost the election, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who spoke about India shining but ended up losing very badly.