Big Friday for Modi, BJP to name him PM nominee at board meet today   Leave a comment

It’s a big political Friday as the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to anoint its campaign committee chief and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate at the Parliamentary Board meeting this evening. But the party’s patriarch LK Advani remains defiant along with senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj.

BJP President Rajnath Singh finally decided to bite the bullet on Modi’s anointment, calling the Parliamentary board to anoint Modi as the party’s PM candidate despite protests from Advani and Sushma Swaraj.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has cancelled her trip to Ambala that was scheduled for Friday morning with indications that she along with Advani may attend the Parliamentary board meet to register dissent against Modi’s elevation.

This is something the party would have wanted to avoid at this point in time. The division in the board could give enough ammunition to BJP adversaries to question Modi’s acceptability.

Hectic parleys though continued past midnight to placate and reach out to Advani, the patriarch whose dissent it seems will be overlooked once again. Sources say the midnight meeting failed to break the deadlock. Sources say the anti-Modi camp is insisting on three conditions that if he is declared the PM candidate, he must give up the Gujarat chief ministership. They also want someone else to replace him as the head of the BJP election campaign committee. They say one man cannot hold three posts at the same time and they must take everyone along in decision-making.

Former party chief Nitin Gadkari has been playing the role of peace-maker and will make one more attempt to resolve the issue with Advani as party president Rajnath Singh’s emissary on Friday morning. But Rajnath Singh on Thursday denied reports of differences within the party. He said, “There is no problem at all within the BJP. It is wrong to say there are differences within the party.” For the last three days, there was a speculation that with Modi coming to Delhi on Friday, his anointment would take place on the same day. But despite being isolated within the party, Advani is unlikely to go down without a fight even as several leaders have openly said that the BJP needs Modi’s leadership.

Advani has conveyed to Rajnath that announcing Modi’s name at this stage could adversely impact the party’s performance in the Assembly polls in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh later in 2013.

Both Advani and Sushma are insisting that the decision on Modi’s candidature should be taken after state polls. Even Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is against nominating Modi before Assembly polls. Sources say Murli Manohar Joshi will not be a hurdle in Modi’s way.

But the party wants Advani on board and former party chief Nitin Gadkari and senior leader S Gurumurthy will try to have a final meeting with Advani on Friday to persuade him to favour Modi’s candidature.

The only worrying factor for him still is whether Advani will repeat a Goa like scenario where he stepped down from all party posts after Modi was anointed party’s poll panel chief. Sources said Advani had conveyed to Rajnath that he will attend the Parliamentary Board meeting and register his protest on nominating Modi.

But the Advani camp is leaving no chance to target Modi. Former Advani aide Sudheendra Kulkarni accused Modi of polarising the party. He tweeted, “A socially polarising leader has polarised his own party. Can he run a smooth, stable and effective government at the Centre? THINK SERIOUSLY,” Kulkarni tweeted. He added, “How does it augur well for the BJP if the party’s tallest leader doesn’t bless Modi for the top job?”

Backing Modi’s candidature is Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi. He said, “The problem for Advani though is that there aren’t too many of his proteges willing to stand by him. For the eternal yatri of Indian politics, ironically, his own party may just end up putting a full stop to his political yatra.”

Even sacked BJP leader and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani came out in support of Modi and said, “I believe Modi is the best option for BJP PM’s candidate, he is an avatar.” He also took a dig at Advani saying he will not win votes. He said, “Advani should have more realistic view over his hold over the people. He cannot win votes.” Sources say Rajnath is still keen on achieving consensus on Modi’s nomination. The RSS wants Modi nominated, but has left the decision on the process and timing of announcement to Rajnath, said sources.


Posted September 13, 2013 by avinash2060 in Modification

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