Modi, Rajnath hold detailed 2014 poll talks

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, considered a front-runner in the race to be the party’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, met newly-elected party chief Rajnath Singh amid speculation within the BJP that the Gujarat CM will be given a key role at the national level.
This was the first meeting between the two after Mr Singh succeeded Mr Nitin Gadkari, who had to quit earlier this week in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing by his companies. During the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, both leaders held “detailed discussions” about the 2014 general election and state-related issues. Mr Singh and the Gujarat CM are not known to have shared a good rapport during the former’s earlier stint as BJP president. However, Mr Modi was among the first leaders to congratulate Mr Singh after he took over the saffron party’s reins earlier this week.
Sunday’s meeting, where Mr Singh personally went outside to receive the Gujarat CM, was perhaps an indication of new equations emerging in the party. Both are considered close to the RSS, which wants the BJP to be seen as standing united, especially when crucial polls are lined up. Sources disclosed that the two leaders also discussed how to expand the BJP-led NDA fold.
There is a growing clamour among the Sangh Parivar’s rank and file to project Mr Modi as the BJP’s candidate for PM and Mr Singh had also hinted at a bigger role for Mr Modi “after discussions with him and other leaders”.
Speculation is rife within the party that Mr Modi is likely to either head the BJP’s campaign committee for the general polls or will be inducted into the highest decision-making body of the party, the parliamentary board. Sources disclosed that Mr Singh is also going to make some changes to his team keeping in mind the coming Assembly polls in some crucial states, the 2014 general election and Mr Gadkari’s “failure” to resolve the crises in Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

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