Monday, June 10, 2013

Modi anointed poll campaign chief Jaitley pats Rajnath for the bold decision, Rajnath accedes Modi is a leader

Panaji: BJP president Rajnath Singh made the formal announcement – Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is the campaign committee chairman for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. It is interesting that there was no mention of the elections in the four states – Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. Rajnath’s announcement came after the national executive discussed and adopted the political resolution moved by former party president Nitin Gadkari, and after Sushma Swaraj spoke at the valedictory function. He made the announcement twice, first at the end of his valedictory address at the end of the two-day national executive meeting here on rainy Sunday noon, and then told the press a little later in the Marriott’s portico seated on a makeshift stage where along with other senior leaders of the party, leaders of opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar. It seemed that there was an attempt to show that the party was united and there were no differences. And the announcement was not made through the party spokespersons. Party spokespersion Shah Nawaz Husain had said on Sunday morning that it was a matter of minutes before the announcement would be made, but it was about 1.45 pm that the party leaders came out. When Rajnath Singh made the announcement at the national executive, he called Modi on to the stage and garlanded him. Modi did not give any acceptance speech. When the announcement was made to the media, Modi was not present on the stage. It was the at the party workers’ meeting at Taleigao, on the outskirts of the state capital in the evening, that Jaitley and Singh revealed the process and the rationale of the decision to make Modi the chief of the poll campaign panel. Jaitley said that one of the qualities of a good leader is that he takes bold decisions, and that Rajnath Singh has showed that he was a leader by making the important and bold decision of choosing Modi which gave anew turn to new politics. He has admitted that unlike in family-ruled parties where choosing a leader is a simplistic process, in a structured party like the BJP it was a complex process, where you had to respond to the demands of thousands of workers and also consult with other leaders in the party. It was an indirect hint that the process of choosing Modi was not an easy one. Jaitley was being generous to Rajnath Singh even as he acknowledged the party president’s leadership virtue. Party president Rajnath Singh also speaking at the party workers’ meeting made the candid statement that “lok tantra mein jo lokpriya hai wohi neta hain (In a democracy, the most popular one is the leader)”. He said that he was a party president implying that he was not a party leader in the same way that Modi is. He also said that he always took just decisions, and choosing Modi as poll campaign chief was an issue of being just. While complimenting Modi on his appointment, he made it clear that this was not an end in itself. “It is a challenge.” The challenge is to defeat Congress in the 2014 election, and install a government which is headed by the BJP. There is conspicuous silence on who would be the prime minister. Without saying it in so many words, both Rajnath Singh and Jaitley have indicated that Modi can be prime minister too. But they stopped short of saying it. Modi spoke last at the party workers’ rally, expressed his gratitude to Rajnath Singh and said that he was a party workers and he feels enthused when the party leader assigns him work. He promised that he along with other party workers would work for the party’s victory so that the BJP’s vision, which was being prepared by Rajnath Singh as the governance blueprint of the party.

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