Rajnath sings Modi praise at BJP meet


Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s rising popularity graph within the BJP was clearly evident when party chief Rajnath Singh gave Mr Modi a special welcome at the first day of the three-day-long party conclave, which began on Friday. Mr Singh, at the party’s national executive meeting, also noted that even the European Union has recognised Mr Modi’s achievements. This signalled that the BJP is all set to give its Gujarat chief minister, considered the frontrunner for the post of party’s prime ministerial candidate, a larger role as the party prepares itself for the crucial Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Mr Modi is likely to be made a member of the party’s highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board, and is expected to head the party’s poll campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
That Mr Modi’s popularity is growing internationally was also evident as he is scheduled to deliver a keynote address for the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) in Philadelphia through video conferencing later this month.
The conclave will see the party deliberate on its roadmap in the run-up to the next general elections, besides discussing the political and economic issues confronting the country. The party has given the motto “swaraj sankalp, BJP vikalp (BJP as the alternative pledges good governance)” for the coming polls. The conclave will also ratify the appointment of Rajnath Singh as the new party chief.
As of now Mr Modi seems to be virtually unstoppable as despite a gag order by Mr Singh on the PM candidate issue, two senior BJP leaders, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and C.P. Thakur, again made a demand that Mr Modi should be named as the PM candidate. Clamour is growing within the BJP’s rank and file to project Mr Modi as the PM candidate.
Also, the Gujarat CM will make a presentation on “good governance” before the party leaders on the last day of the national council meeting and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on “Antyodaya”.
“More than maintaining coalition... we should think about winning seats... It is not just BJP leaders who want Modi to be declared as the PM candidate, even common man wants him to lead the nation,” said the party’s Rajya Sabha MP B.S. Koshiyari. Mr Thakur sounded confident that projecting Mr Modi as the party’s face ahead of the next general polls will “certainly help the party”.
Even Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, in an interview to a news channel, said that there is a growing interest in Mr Modi as the PM candidate. “This is due to a groundswell building up among the people... I think Modi has made a huge mark on Indian polity,” he said.
At the meeting, Mr Modi was lauded by the BJP chief for achieving the unprecedented feat of winning three consecutive elections in Gujarat. Mr Singh also specified that no other BJP CM has such a record. The BJP chief appreciated the Gujarat CM’s performance again in his speech when he criticised the UPA government’s “failure” in reviving the economy.
“The president also said that performance of BJP-ruled states is being discussed around the world. He made a special mention of Gujarat. That even the European Union is recognising this and despite several campaigns against him they are trying to build new relations with him,” said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad while briefing the media about the meeting.

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