12 May, 2021

I, Pradhan Sevak

After purging the trinity, Modi now looks at absolute party control

Illustration by Saahil
I, Pradhan Sevak

In the dictionary of the powerful, two rules are sacrosanct. One, you must appear to be powerful and, two, if you don’t use the power vested in you then you must be ready to be overruled, or worse, deposed. Clearly, no one in the BJP follows these two rules more doggedly than Narendra Modi, the party’s most successful import to 7, Race Course Road yet.

So, just 10 days before Prime Minister Modi completed 100 days in office, on August 26, his party sat down to rejig its highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board. Of its 11 members, three names—A.B. Vajpayee, L.K. Adv­ani and M.M. Joshi—had so far been irreplaceable. But this fortnight, the BJP led by Modi’s trusted lieutenant, Amit Shah, changed that cardinal norm. 

The triumvirate of Atal, Advani and Joshi were moved up to the BJP’s dusty attic. They now belonged to the newly constituted ‘Margdarshak Mandal’, a guiding body where as seniors their job was, as party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain put it, to “show the way”. Active...

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