As the clamour for a bigger role for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is set to overshadow the BJP’s two-day national executive meet in Goa, conflicting reports are emerging on whether the event would be the proper forum to announce a larger role for Modi.
Some of the senior leaders said the decision regarding the 2014 elections campaign committee head would be taken by the parliamentary board and not at the national executive.
Senior leader Yashwant Sinha reportedly said: “The national executive of the BJP is too large a body to discuss leadership issues... The BJP has already made it very clear that these issues will be decided by the parliamentary board.” About the leadership debate within the party, Sinha told a news channel: “I will not go into that question right now. As far as the leadership issue is concerned, most certainly we should in good time decide who will lead us in the 2014 elections.” Asked if Modi should lead the party, he said: “I leave it to the parliamentary board at this stage.” Other BJP leaders, including Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar, said the issue of election campaign committee incharge would be decided by the parliamentary board and party president.
Over 350 leaders from across the country are participating in the national executive meet, where discussions would held on the UPA Government’s failure and issues before the country. As five states, including the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, would see Assembly elections soon, there is a growing demand from the party cadre to announce Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP’s victory in two Lok Sabha and four Assembly bypolls in Gujarat has strengthened Modi’s case for the campaign committee chief post as well.
Many in the BJP feel the time is ripe for giving more responsibility to Modi to send a message to the cadre and the country. As the ruling Janata Dal (U) lost a Lok Sabha seat to the RJD, the BJP leaders were quick to point out that even Nitish Kumar in Bihar needs Modi to strengthen the NDA. BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said BJP president Rajnath Singh would send out a clear message on the Lok Sabha campaign leadership at the conclave.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Modi could catapult the BJP to power.
Modi had already met Rajnath and senior leader L K Advani during his visit to Delhi on Wednesday, to seek their “blessings”.
This fuelled speculation that the opposition to his greater role have been quelled.