Why Narendra Modi cannot afford to be silent


Prime Minister Narendra Modi suddenly seems to be Manmohnized. His hyper active twitter handle has gone silent on the hottest controversy of the day and he has practically disappeared from the reach of camera, which he loves so much. His cabinet ministers are holding brief for him when the people want to know his “mann ki baat”.

History is repeating itself in a way. Not long ago former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan SIngh, was alleged to have been maintaining silence on critical issue of corruption in his ministry when the whole world was shouting outside to know his views and stand. Modi used to make fun of Singh and he was addressed as “Maun(silent) Mohan Singh.

In an ironical change of role Modi stares the same sobriquet which was used for the former premier. Its now more than four days since the Sushma Swaraj controversy has hit the headlines ,Modi has not uttered even a single word on that issue.

But Modi cannot appear to be seen in the same glass ceiling as his predecessor. The Hindu right wing leader’s whole political persona is built on the opposition to his predecessor. The silence has the potential to damage his credibility on which the edifice of the second BJP regime rests.

If Modi speaks what he will say to the nation. What defence he will put forward to the country, which gave him an overwhelming majority to lead a clean and a non scandalous government.

The dilemma with the BJP government is that it cannot sack Swaraj and Vasundhra Raje Scindia for transgressing the political limits. The dismissal would mean an acceptance of the crime and blemish on the government.

It would also bring to the fore the faultlines in the BJP, thereby, opening a floodgate of internal political tussle which would be difficult for Modi and the RSS to control. In a scenario of internal feud the whole governance, the leitmotif of the the Modi regime, would be impacted and the PM would find it difficult to go in for any bold political and economic decisions , which he has promised to deliver..

With the opposition Congress blazing all guns and gaining a new traction under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the crisis in the government might lead to political chaos for the Hindu right wing regime.
The bad news for Modi is that the Lalit Modi scandal has come to haunt him quite early in his tenure. The United Progressive Alliance government(UPA) became unpopular at the fag end of its second term. Manmohan Singh became a fallen guy at the second half of his second term.

With so many controversies hitting the government due to its aggressive push to saffronise education and other prominent institutions besides his anti minority agenda , the Lalitgate has the potential to damage the middle class constituency which has voted for him with the hope of delivering a clean government.

The scandal has come at a really bad time for the BJP when it is trying hard to wrest Bihar in the upcoming elections. The party wants to bank on the name of Modi to sail through the crucial poll. A dent in his image will damage whatever little prospect the right wing group has in this crucial state.

Therefore, Modi cannot afford to be silent and appear as helpless as of Manmohan Singh.