Over the last few months, several senior BJP leaders have been expressing their displeasure over Modi’s rise through various means including the infamous boycotts which was referred to as “NaMonia” in social media
In order to understand why party stalwarts might be unhappy with Modi’s nomination, a peek into the history of Modi might give some clues.
Modi’s stint in politics dates back to the early 1960s, when he had volunteered for a statewide agitation which resulted in the formation of state of Gujarat (carved out of the Bombay Province).
During late 1960s, when Modi joined RSS, his job was to sweep the floor and after few months, was “promoted” as tea maker in the office. Later, he was “promoted” to become the office cook and after realizing his potential, he was “promoted” to be the mailboy who would reply to mails delivered to the office.
When JP movement was at its peak in mid 1970s with a strong anti-Indira wave, Modi was a caterer and office boy who would adjust microphones for LK Advani, clean stages during rallies and carry water bottles for Vajpayee.
By mid 1980s, he was an event organizer. In early 1990s, he was promoted to become the strategist who organized Rath Yatra for LK Advani & Ekta Yatra for Murli Manohar Joshi.
Even till the late 1990s, Modi was perceived as a “glorified” officeboy & event organizer by the BJP stalwarts. Here is a video clip from 1990s in which some of the top BJP leaders describe him as an organizer & a good party worker:
LK Advani’s attitude towards Modi was like that towards a servant and the following anecdote illustrates it pretty well: One fine afternoon in 1995, Keshubhai & Advani, sitting in the backseat were being chauffeured in a car with Modi sitting in the front seat (adjacent to the driver). When they spotted Govindacharya (another BJP member) on the road, the driver stopped the car to pick up Govindacharya and in turn asked Modi to get down to make space. With surprise, Modi looked at Advani expecting him to intervene (or atleast try to adjust in the backseat by allowing Modi to sit with him), but Advani turned his face away and gazed at the window, pretending to be unaware of the situation. Feeling humiliated, Modi got down from the car and walked all the way to the office.
The above anecdote is just one of the several instances of the attitude of senior BJP leaders towards their younger colleagues. Inspite of such attitude from Advani, Modi had always respected him for his age & experience and always sought his blessings.
Whenever someone from BJP praised Modi & proposed his name for national level, Advani would laugh and brush it aside saying Modi is still young & there are many other senior leaders who can be considered for such top posts.
Now if such a person who was perceived as office boy rises purely based on his hard work & merit and becomes a contender for PM post in the party, it is bound to create discomfort among the stalwarts who considered themselves “experienced” & had taken their positions for granted.