PM Modi’s conventional and unconventional ways to build BJP: Exclusive interview

Book Cover: The Architect of the New BJP: How Narendra Modi Transformed the Party. PHOTO: Sourav Karmakar

Ajay Singh, press secretary to the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, has said that his maiden book, titled “The Architect of the New BJP: How Narendra Modi Transformed the Party” delves into the organizational skills of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and provides detailed insights into his conventional and unconventional methods as well as the tools he utilized over time to build a formidable structure for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In an exclusive phone interview with News India Times on July 31, 2023, Singh while describing about PM Modi’s political organizing skills noted “He [PM Modi] consistently evolves new strategies to co-opt people and various sections in most innovative ways. He does not allow himself to be constrained by conventional methodologies which is consistent with the [party’s] ideology. He often goes beyond and rope in people of diverse backgrounds.”

Singh is currently in New York with his wife and younger daughter, to visit his older daughter, Apurva Singh, who is working in New York City. On July 23, the Indian-American Arts Council (IACC) hosted Singh for a book talk at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey. The event was moderated by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Vikram Singh, and attended by the Consul-General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, Vice-Chairman of IACC, Rakesh Kaul, and other eminent people.

At the book event, Jaiswal who has been closely associated with Singh said “[Singh] has in-depth knowledge, experience, exposure to Indian socio-economic political landscape. All that has been distilled and put in the book…”

Ajay Singh. PHOTO: Sourav Karmakar

When asked about his book journey, Singh recalled that he started his research in late 2018 and fully immersed himself in it in 2019. However, in October 2019, Singh assumed the role of Press Secretary to the then President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, and that responsibility naturally caused some delay in his writing endeavor. Subsequently, the onset of COVID-19 further impeded his efforts prolonging the writing journey to over four years. Finally, in 2022, Penguin Books published his book in India.

Singh writes in his book, “If one goes by conventional understanding of politics, the BJP’s organizational strength did not have the capacity to mobilize voters across the country to win a clear majority. It was an unachievable target by any stretch of the imagination. In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had performed quite dismally and won only 116 seats. The party found its base shrunken in large states like Uttar Pradesh, where its tally was abysmally low at ten out of the eighty…”

He further writes, “Modi’s projection as the prime ministerial candidate galvanized a demoralized cadre of the BJP, RSS, and affiliates…There was high expectation in the air as people believed that Modi would radically transform the way the country was governed. His credentials were well established as the Gujarat chief minister who had carried out development work with single-minded devotion, irrespective of the opprobrium heaped on him for being communally prejudiced…”

With respect to the historic state visit of PM Modi in June, Singh underscored that the entire world is abuzz with the resounding success of his state visit to the US. He further added that people in the US are acknowledging that they haven’t witnessed such a prosperous state visit in the recent memory.

Commenting on US-India relationship, Singh said, “Both US and India are great democracies and plural societies. So, the US-India relationship has so many common grounds that it is bound to grow. The beauty of India’s growth is that it promises to make the world a safer place.”

An experienced journalist, Singh embarked on his journalistic career with The Times of India in 1985. He subsequently worked for other leading publications including The Economic Times, The Telegraph, The Pioneer, and The Business Standard. Not limited to the print media, he also worked with various news channels such as Star News, News X, and Sahara Samay. Additionally, he took the initiative to launch, Governance Now, a fortnightly magazine, solely dedicated to matters concerning public policies and governance. During a two-year intermission, he also served as Executive Editor at Firstpost, a digital news website.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here