BJP must understand why Narendra Modi warned it over Asaram Bapu

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly expressed his displeasure with some BJP leaders allegedly shielding self-styled godman Asaram Bapu who has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor and then defying law and threatening and insulting the victim and her family.

Some BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh have been backing the 72-year-old Asaram Bapu, saying he has been a target of the Congress's conspiracy and the latter, encouraged by this, also accused the Gandhis. The funny thing is, if the Congress has indeed targetted the godman, then why is the Rajasthan government led by the Congress failing to give a full shape to the 'conspiracy theory'?

The BJP leadership in MP has done more harm to the party's image. A top party leader from the state misbehaved and pulled out of a television show earlier this week when asked uncomfortable questions on his insensitive remarks about the victim.

By cautioning the partymen on Asaram Bapu, did Narendra Modi send a message to the BJP's national leadership?

Modi, the BJP's chief of the 2014 poll campaign committee, has reportedly told party chief Rajnath Singh to see that no spokesperson or leader defended the accused godman. He said a probe is on against Asaram and he should be dealt as per the law.

Modi's reaction on this issue will help those who felt disappointed with the BJP's apparent double standards on crime against women regain some hope. The principal opposition party has failed to rise to the occasion to capitalise on the Congress's failure and Modi, through his regrets over the Asaram Bapu and passing of the Food Security Bill in the Parliament, has raised the much-necessary alarm on this.

Two BJPs must learn to unite for a greater good

The conflict is between the BJP as an extremist outfit bowing before anything related to the majoritary politics and a moderate party concerned with clean governance. Narendra Modi has seen his transformation into an administrator who realises that just reckless persuasion of vote-bank politics is not going to help his party at crucial junctures. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is also often praised as an able administrator, should also have asked his partymen to stop making insensitive remarks on the Asaram Bapu case.

Other top BJP leaders should have also done what Modi did

Perhaps the upcoming assembly elections in the state stopped the state government from taking a bold step. But this is how the saffron elements of the right-wing camp act. Why won't the party, which led a national government in the past and speaks about development and modernity and relies on tech-savvy means to connect to the people, speak against such godmen? It needed a Modi to raise the all-important question so that the party doesn't lose its face among the middle-class and youth, two of its main electoral pillars.

Did Modi also send a message to the BJP's national leadership?

Modi has also given an important message to the national leadership of the BJP. He has picked the points which the national leadership should have addressed earlier but it remained silent. This will help his cause to gather more support in the party and outside for Mission 2014.

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