No Modi for other poll states

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi may be eyeing a role at the national level but he will have virtually no role in the Assembly elections in five major states next year.
These states are West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry.

The BJP, which has been a junior partner of the Janata Dal (U) in Bihar, might be determined to involve him in the campaigning for the state Assembly elections in the coming months, but he cannot become a star campaigner, sources predicted. This is because his image could create problem for chief minister Nitish Kumar on the one hand and at the same time it will not consolidate support of the upper castes behind the BJP, they felt.
According to Congress insiders, Mr Modi’s Hindutva would help the Congress in Kerala to increase its numbers while his image will not help his own party in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry polls.
Incidentally, the BJP has been lacking a presence in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and West Bengal. Earlier, it had tried to gain some political space in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu with the help of Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and DMK supremo K. Karunanidhi during the NDA regime and under the liberal leadership of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Though a section of the BJP is trying to project Mr Modi as a national leader who has an appeal across the country like Mr Vajpayee, its partners differ on it. Barring the JD(U), even the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal do not see the Gujarat chief minister as a vote-catcher.
Even the BJP insiders have reservations over his image-building exercise through posters during the party national executive meetings.
In Ahmedabad, BJP general secretary and in-charge of the party affairs in Bihar, Mr Ananth Kumar, virtually prayed to Mr Modi to come to Bihar for the campaigning. “Modiji, please come to Bihar.”
You may campaign and hold the BJP flag high. I feel from the bottom of my heart that it may be Bangalore, Benaras or Ballia — Bharat or Bihar. We invite him to come to campaign. He is our leader,” he said.
But in New Delhi, Gujarat PCC chief Siddhart Patel told this newspaper that the Congress would intensify its campaign against Mr Modi. “We will come out with a ‘black paper’ against his rule to expose corruption in his government,” he said.

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