Known as the intellectual strategist of older BJP, former MP Sudheendra Kulkarni has very clear opinions about the present, changed BJP. Kulkarni spoke to a national media house recently and expressed characteristically sharp views on several issues regarding BJP and it’s present drive.
Kulkarni has said that the BJP may not come close to getting the 272 seats needed for absolute majority by itself. But it has done its best to come as close to the number as possible, he said. Finally, the new government to come could be a BJP led coalition, he added. Present campaign is the most personalized campaign BJP has ever undertaken, though this kind of campaigning is more suited to presidential type government elections, the BJP steered away from its usual “collective leadership” strategy and favored this “one persons centric plan.” This approach could lead to the emergence of a new kind of BJP, that relegates the old guard firmly to the background, said Kulkarni.
But, if BJP fails to get more than 160-170 seats by itself, it may find government formation almost impossible, as other parties might not wish to accept the controversial leadership of Modi, unlike Vajpayee who formed an unsuccessful government in 1996, explained Kulkarni.
Finally, BJP has been overly one person centric, overly active and over confident during this whole campaign, concluded Sudheendra Kulkarni. Kulkarni is well known as the “India Shining” campaign, and worked closely with LK Advani and Vajpayee, for whom he wrote speeches also. Kulkarni had been critical of Modi earlier, said Modi had been polarising the society and will not be a good choice for BJP as a PM candidate. Kulkarni was one of the accused in the “Cash for Votes Scam”, jailed briefly and was released later.