Sunday, June 09, 2013

The big announcement on Modi expected June 9

Panaji: In his opening presidential address, BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s closing remarks sent out the message that the party on the final day of the national executive will take the big step of naming Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi chairman of the campaign committee. Briefing the media, national spokesperson Prakash Javdekar on Saturday afternoon on the president’s speech said that Singh had said the party workers will leave the executive with renewed energy. This was taken to mean that the much awaited Modi announcement will be made. Javdekar conceded that this was so and that there will be a big announcement at the end of the national executive. He said that the announcement has the approval of senior leader L.K.Advani. Barring last minute nerves, Rajnath Singh would announce that Modi will spearhead the campaign. Party sources said that Modi will be named campaign committee, and that it is an indirect declaration of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. The mood among the the attendees at the national executive on Saturday was one of rebellion and belligerence. They wanted the top leaders to declare Modi the face of the party for the 2014 election. “The Modi Express is moving. Either people get on to the bandwagon or they get trampled beneath it,” said one of the impatient younger office-bearers speaking on condition of anonymity. The protests outside Advani’s home in Delhi were cited an example of the mood in the party and its supporters. The source said that if anyone were to oppose Modi at the national executive, the dissenters would have been mauled, a euphemism for lynching. Two of Friday’s media speculations have been rejected. First, that leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj batter for Advani and insisted that the decision to name Modi should have Advani’s approval. It has been argued that Rajnath Singh is an astute politician in his own right and that he would not depend on Swaraj to mediate with Advani. “Rajnath can pick up the phone and speak to Advani directly,” the source said. And that is what Rajnath Singh did. The second was about his illness. The illness is real and not political, sources said. Advani expressed his desire to be present at the national executive at least on the last day if the doctors would permit it, but Rajnath had asked him to follow doctors’ advice and take rest, and that they (the party representatives) will come to him. Asked if Advani had reservations about the Modi decision, sources say that even if Advani had been well and present he would have sensed the mood among the delegates’ mood at the national executive and would have agreed to the decision about Modi. “He (Advani) is a seasoned politician, and he knows better than anyone else the mood of the workers, and he would not stand against the tide. The argument is whatever his personal preferences, he would have yielded to political necessity with grace.

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