Power Shift in NDA: Modi’s Era of Unchallenged Authority Faces New Challenges

Key Allies Gain Leverage as Modi Navigates a Changing Political Landscape.

Today, on 7th June, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Parliamentary Party Meeting was held in the Central Hall of the Old Parliament Building. The primary agenda of this meeting was to express support for Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming elections. However, this meeting also proved to be a significant challenge for Modi. For the first time, he had to share most of his powers as Prime Minister.

Over the past 10 years, Modi has acted with considerable autonomy, but this time things have changed. Chandrababu Naidu was clear in his vision and successfully negotiated an important portfolio in exchange for his party TDP’s support with 12 seats. Similarly, Nitish Kumar (JDU) with 14 seats also secured favorable terms. Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari regained their influence within the Modi-Shah regime. Meanwhile, Jayant Chaudhary was ignored again, and Shivraj Singh Chauhan was absent from the meeting.

Power Shift in NDA: Modi's Era of Unchallenged Authority Faces New Challenges
Chandrababu Naidu

After nearly a decade, this was the first instance where Narendra Modi had no choice but to listen to others. He had to pay attention not only to his party members, including JP Nadda, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, and others from the BJP, but also to all NDA members, including HD Kumaraswamy (JDS), Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar, Eknath Shinde, Chirag Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Pawan Kalyan, and many more. It was a long session for Modi, who is known for his preference for one-sided discussions.

A notable outcome from this meeting was the effective negotiation by Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar. Despite Naidu’s speech appearing to praise Modi as a visionary leader, his mention of NT Rama Rao’s quote on humanism delivered a powerful message: “No more hatred against Muslims or anybody.” This is a sentiment that challenges the approach of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, as humanity and respect for religion have often seemed absent from their agendas.

Every alliance member seemed to have negotiated for something valuable. Chandrababu Naidu likely secured a significant portfolio, possibly the Lok Sabha Speaker or Ministry of Broadcasting, along with Muslim reservations and other benefits for minority group. On the other hand, Nitish Kumar probably obtained the Railway or Finance Ministry and a special status for Bihar. Throughout the meeting, it was evident that Modi was grappling with the new reality. He now has to collaborate and share his plans with many others, reducing his singular control and authority.

Power Shift in NDA: Modi's Era of Unchallenged Authority Faces New Challenges
Nitish Kumar

When Nitin Gadkari spoke, Modi appeared tense. It seems the BJP’s internal dynamics are shifting, with leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and other RSS figures gaining more respect and influence. This was evident in their body language during the meeting.

An important observation was the absence of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, likely due to instructions from the RSS. It appears that Mohan Bhagwat (RSS Head) continues to impact Modi’s leadership periodically. Chauhan’s absence served as a reminder of the RSS’s influence and a potential threat to Modi and Shah.

It also seems that major changes are imminent for key portfolios like the Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry. Nirmala Sitharaman may no longer be the Finance Minister, and S Jaishankar might be removed from his role. Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan seemed pleased with his own achievements, likely expecting a significant portfolio directly from Modi.

Jayant Chaudhary faced another setback in this meeting, being completely ignored and not even invited to speak as an National Democratic Alliance member. This behavior from the BJP suggests that Chaudhary might not remain aligned with them for long.

Regardless of whether Narendra Modi remains the Prime Minister with full authority or becomes one with limited power, these developments suggest significant shifts. Modi may eventually resign, or the government could face instability and potentially collapse soon.


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