In what should be termed a strong response to party senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi’s remarks that there is no “Modi wave” in the country, Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary Ananth Kumar on Monday maintained that it was its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who brought such a “visibility” to the party.
Addressing a meet-the-press programme jointly organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild here, Mr. Kumar said it was not possible to separate Mr. Modi and the BJP in terms of popularity or wave.
“What Mr. Joshi is trying to say is that sometimes it [the wave] becomes synonymous. If you say you are rejecting the Congress, then it is a BJP wave. However, just as we cannot separate Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP, Mr. Modi and the BJP cannot be separated,” he said.
He averred that there was a “super wave” in favour of Mr. Modi and the BJP was set to get a clear mandate, surpassing the majority mark of 272 Lok Sabha seats on its own.‘A role model’
Referring to Dr. Joshi’s remark that the Gujarat model of development was not applicable to all the States, Mr. Kumar said it was not possible to say that every State could be developed on the lines of Gujarat as their challenges would be different. “But it is a model from which we can get inspiration. It is a role model. It shows how one could take a State to international standards in 12 years.”
For example, he said, Gujarat’s per capita consumption of electricity that stood at 1,115 units was almost on a par with the U.S., much against India’s average of 450 units.
Similarly, Gujarat was the only State to get a U.N. award for development, besides 54 various awards from the Centre, he claimed.
Replying to a query, he ruled out any possibility of changing the prime ministerial candidate after the polls.‘Doors still open’
On Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa — earlier considered a potential ally — lashing out at the party, he said: “Our doors are still open when we say that we want a non-Congress dispensation at the Centre. They should also think in this regard.”