This is just wild speculation at best; that Nandan Nilekani may be named the PM candidate of the Congress. There is nothing reliable to indicate either that the party may break its tradition of not naming a PM candidate in advance; nor is there any indication that that person would be Nandan Nilekani. But just imagine…..if Nilekani were indeed the chosen one….how would that rattle the Sanghis, and how would they attack the party and Nilekani!
Knowing the BJP, its first line of attack will be to chide Rahul Gandhi (its mortal bugbear!) as one who finally acknowledges that he doesn’t have it in him to be PM. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Gandhis have been quite nonchalant about grabbing the PM’s position – remember how Sonia Gandhi shunned it when she had the chance in 2004 (and when she had no reason to)? Remember also how Rahul Gandhi called power poison? For Sanghis, who are desperate to grab power, such selflessness is extremely worrisome. Remember the veritable civil war which broke out within the party before Modi was anointed?! On the other hand, the Congress is led by people who actively avoid the post!
Then they would attack Nilekani himself. He is just another “privileged” man who has earned thousands of crores for himself under the “crony capitalism” fawned by the Congress, or some such trash! Truth seldom matters for Modi and the BJP. Because if it did, they wouldn’t push this line too much – Nilekani is a self-made man, who relied on education, and believed in the potential of the nation. He built Infosys from scratch. For a party like the BJP which believes in demolishing everything (reputations, institutions, democracy itself with its fascist style), such a merit-based growth story will be a threat to existence!
Then of course, Sanghis would attack the UIDAI and Aadhar itself. There are so many glitches. The cards are issued without verifying the identity of the person. They are given even to non-citizens (even though, the purpose was never to make the card a citizenship card!). This is a Congress attempt to regularize illegal Bangladeshis staying in India! Blah blah blah! The tongues of BJP leaders – captured eloquently in the twitter hashtag #Moditongue – would wag furiously, as they would see their rare, and to be honest still remote, chance of dethroning the Congress getting snatched out of their hands!
The BJP would also attack Nilekani for “merely having led a company”, while Modi has run a “vast” and “vibrant” state for more than 10 years. Strictly speaking, this is true. But the one thing that Kejriwal has shown is that experience per se is inadequate for winning a poll battle. Even good work is inadequate. Capturing the imaginination of people – Nilekani’s “Imagining India” is after all a best seller – is the most important thing. In Delhi, Sheila Dixit didn’t (at least for the present), while Kejriwal did. And to be fair, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh did as well, while the Congress’s leaders in those states didn’t. If Modi attacked Nilekani on this line, it would explode in his face!
Imagine Modi v/s Nilekani! It would be a case of amazing contrast! One an IIT engineer, the other barely educated (at least in practical terms). One a modern man with personal experience of technology; the other whose knowledge of technology is as fake (#feku!) as everything else (most of his twitter following is fake)! One who is respected around the world (a la Manmohan Singh); the other who is unwelcome in the mecca of global power, the US! One who is clean as as whistle; the other whose hands are bloodied by allegations of direct involvement in Gujarat’s worst communal carnage. And lastly, one who is young, apolitical in the conventional sense, liberal minded and a genuine doer while the other is much older, a true-blue politician, a combination of fascism and extreme Hindutva and one whose PR stories way more impressive than his actual achievements!
Is it even possible that the Congress appoint Nilekani as its PM candidate? Of course it is. It has done so in the past when it appointed Manmohan Singh. That got the party two terms in office. The “family” has never craved power. If its not Nilekani, it could well be Chidambaram….and like I have said earlier, Chidambaram has it in him to blot out Modi. When I tweeted about Chidambaram being made PM candidate, BJP trolls indulged in the kind of muck they are so accustomed to (after all, the Lotus only blooms in mucky water, doesn’t it?!), saying even that Modi would take off Chidambaram’s “lungi”! Such #Moditongue is inbred into all Sanghis – almost like a joining oath!
Get this guys. Rahul Gandhi would make a fine PM. He has the vision for India that is relevant for the 21st and 22nd centuries. That of a liberal, progressive, secular nation with equal rights to all (not only to the Hindus); of a pluralistic democracy where divergent viewpoints are welcome (and not a fascist state which attacks anyone with a different view; this is why the BJP can never understand why the divergent views of a Mani Shankar Aiyer are welcomed by the Congress, not muted out!), and a nation in which every last person grows (and not merely the urban middle-to-upper classes). Rahul Gandhi can become PM whenever he wants. But he’s also very happy to remain Party Pres and work on organization development (how many BJP leaders would do this? Would Modi become his party pres if he lost the PM elections?!). He could easily hand over the top job to someone else. The Congress has always been comfortable with a “dual power structure”…..something the BJP simply cannot get!
The real truth is that if Nilekani was to be named Congress’s PM candidate – and there is no indication of this as yet – the BJP and specifically its “messiah” (in whose name the hashtag #Moditongue has been coined) and his supporters would go into mudslinging of the order not seen yet. Suddenly, Modi – an old school, fascist, minority-basher – will become the BJP’s biggest liability. Bring it on, I say!