It's hard to believe that at one point in time Narendra Modi's anointment as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate raised many brows even within the BJP circles.
Party patriarch LK Advani had skipped the key meeting and efforts had to be made to bring around Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj. It was exactly on this day, September the 13th that Narendra Modi, a staunch Hindutva proponent, was anointed BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
When name of NaMo was finally announced
At that time, the announcement came from BJP chief Rajnath Singh, shortly after a meeting of the 12-member parliamentary board which was given a miss by Advani to register his dissent over the decision. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was ill and the other grand old man of the party Advani had lost his sweeping potential.
A letter by Advani to Rajnath Singh followed, accusing him of Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting priority. But not many care to go through its contents today. Rajnath Singh stood by Modi. Even back then, those in the inner circles of BJP knew all too well, what he was doing.
"All the allies have endorsed the decision and extended their support to Modi's candidature. It's a unanimous and democratic decision," he said at the time. Even though Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, BC. Khanduri, Uma Bharti all gave the 'key meet' a miss. Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav broke its 17 years old alliance with the party.
"We cannot be bothered," said Congress back then
"We cannot be bothered," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters on the sidelines of one of the press meeting when asked about the announcement of Modi's candidature. That's one statement that no one, literally no one in the nation can make today. Today looking at where Narendra Modi stands, how he became BJP PM candidate is irrelevant and almost a hypothesis, how he became the Prime Minister and all that unfolded thereafter, is a more befitting question.
Rajnath Singh, the 'captain' and Amit Shah the 'man of the match: PM Modi
NaMo was yet to be coined, and PM Modi was yet to become the phenomenon that Nation would grow to either absolutely love or vehemently dismiss. "We'll leave no stone unturned to ensure the party's victory," he said before shouting out the campaign, "nayi soch, nayi umeed, nayi rajneeti."
Rajnath Singh and Modi have often resonated on the same wavelength, it was time to cash in on the Gujarat model and appeal to voters from all demographics; riding on both Hindutva and development in Gujarat. In fact, the political watchdogs have used the metaphor triangular love story, with Amit Shah dotting the third point of the almost isosceles triangle.
In July 2014, Shah replaced Rajnath Singh as the BJP president.
It is believed that if Rajnath Singh backed Modi on the forefront then it was Amit Shah who maneuvered and steered the party to the finishing line in the general elections. Narendra Modi at one point has called Rajnath Singh, the 'captain' and Amit Shah the 'man of the match.' How long they stay in form depends on how synchronized the troika remains in the times to come.