BJP state unit wants to bank on Modi elevation to rebuild its organisation

With the Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership getting completely occupied with the appointment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its campaign committee chairman and the issues related to the appointment, the party State unit could not formally take up the suggestion by some leaders for re-including the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in its fold with the high command during the party national executive in Goa.

“There was hardly any opportunity to formally take up the issue with the central leadership as they were completely busy with the crucial appointment (of Mr. Modi),” sources in the BJP said.

Referring to the media reports that some leaders from the State had actually discussed the issue with a few central leaders, the sources made it clear that if at all such discussions had taken place, it could be only an informal effort. “No importance is attached to such an informal and casual discussion as such informal efforts are going on at various levels ever since the party’s defeat in the Assembly polls. They will assume importance only if they are done in a formal manner”.

It is learnt that even the suggestion for wooing the former Minister B. Sriramulu into the party fold was not taken up for discussion at the sidelines of the national executive.

Though a section of the BJP leaders feel that elevation of Mr. Modi could help boost efforts to get back Mr. Yeddyurappa into the party fold as both these leaders are believed to be having a good rapport, highly placed sources in the party are of the view that being a strong organisational man, Mr. Modi may go by the views of the party State unit on the issue.

However, several party leaders believe that Mr. Modi’s elevation would certainly help bring about a political balance in the party State unit as the influence of party national general secretary Ananth Kumar, a close aide of Mr. Advani, may reduce to an extent.

The Yeddyurappa issue apart, the debate has already begun in the party State unit on to what extent the elevation of Mr. Modi may help the party — which is still recovering from the disastrous defeat in the Assembly elections — in the Lok Sabha polls.

Several prominent persons, who play a key role in the party’s organisational structure, maintain that Mr. Modi’s appointment has given something to hold-on for the party in a bad shape in its preparations for the Lok Sabha polls and in its efforts to instil confidence among its cadre. “The mood is buoyant in the State unit following Mr. Modi’s appointment,” said a top leader, while hinting that the party now wants to use this opportunity to rebuild its organisation in the State.

But BJP’s political opponents point out that it was not Hindutva, but widening of the base with the liberal inclusion of leaders from the non-Hindutva background that helped the party to make it big in Karnataka in 2008. “Mr. Modi may help get Hindutva votes, but that may also make other voters to distance themselves from the party,” argued a political observer.

Meanwhile, the party State leaders have hailed Mr. Modi’s elevation and are set to celebrate this at the party State office on Monday. Mr. Yeddyurappa too has hailed Mr. Modi’s appointment.

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