Modi loyalists counter Sushma

The Narendra Modi camp in the BJP has swung into action to project him as Mr L.K. Advani’s successor. In a tacit rebuttal to Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s remarks that Mr Modi’s magic may not work everywhere, in connection with the Bihar Assembly polls, a senior party leader from Karnataka, considered close to chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, published an advertisement in leading national newspapers congratulating Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for his recent electoral

triumph at local municipal polls in Gujarat. The advertisement also exhorts: “Please come forward and guide the nation through this turbulence.”
Mr Modi, it was learnt, spoke to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and expressed his strong displeasure over Ms Swaraj’s remarks. Some of the senior party leaders also raised the issue with Mr Gadkari.
Ms Swaraj, who was in Patna earlier this week and was asked whether Mr Modi would campaign in the poll-bound state, had remarked that Mr Modi’s magic had worked in Gujarat but his magic need not work everywhere. A section within the party was miffed with Ms Swaraj for making such a statement for her party colleague and that too on such a controversial issue.
The Leader of the Opposition, who many in the party feel is trying to position herself as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, however, continued to maintain a stoic silence after her remarks. The BJP leaders in Delhi also felt that Ms Swaraj “should not have come out openly against Modiji”.
In fact, the BJP on Wednesday credited Mr Modi’s for its victory in local body polls in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
“There was a wave (in favour of the BJP) in Dadra and Nagar Haveli local body elections which started from Gujarat due to Narendrabhai and had an influence on the polls,” said BJP vice-president Najma Heptullah. She claimed the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which is governed by the Centre, was impressed with the prosperity under Mr Modi in neighbouring Gujarat.
When asked if this indicated that Mr Modi was emerging as a national level leader, party’s national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar replied: “Modi is a national level leader.”

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