The foot soldier
The BJP is being exceedingly ambitious fielding Narendra Modi from unfamiliar terrain in Varanasi. Notwithstanding his image, Modi faces a clear risk in the face of the combined onslaught of entrenched regional players. But for the Sangh Parivar, Modi is a mere foot soldier in their march to a larger goal. Modi could even end up being sacrificed in its quest to gain influence over the 40-odd seats of Purvanchal. Any resultant loss of face of its “poll star” Modi in the Uttar Pradesh seat would but be a collateral damage. However, to ensure that their icon remains the face of its national venture, Modi could anyway be given a “safe” haven in his native Gujarat, even if riding on two seats does dim the aura of its candidate for PM’s chair. Contrast this with the Congress which stands by its leader through thick and thin and would put the entire party at risk to buttress its leader, be it the UPA-2 then or elections now. That is loyalty operating in reverse!
Janaki Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Jobs vs dole
P Chidambaram recently admitted that “Given a choice, people want jobs over subsidies” (FE, March 24). It appears to be a late realisation. Otherwise, his budgets could have given priority to employment. Instead the UPA government, has been spending profusely on doles.