Making it clear who would be the party’s face in the 2014 general election, the BJP on Friday announced 20 committees which would work under Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to gear up the party machinery for the polls.
Since his anointment as the party’s National Election Campaign Committee chief at the Goa National Executive in June, in the teeth of opposition from several senior leaders including L.K. Advani, the signals from the party leadership as well as the RSS are loud and clear that the Sangh Parivar has decided to bank entirely on the hardline Hindutva image of the Gujarat Chief Minister for the general election.
Mr. Advani, who fought in vain to stall the appointment of Mr. Modi, has been bracketed with the ailing veteran party leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Both have been named as leaders who would guide the party and Mr. Modi in fighting the election.
The mammoth exercise of finalising names for the 20 committees was preceded by hectic consultations among the senior leaders, the RSS brass with Mr. Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh at the helm of the affairs.
At a news conference here, general secretary Ananth Kumar said the former party president, Murli Manohar Joshi, would head the manifesto committee with help from among others Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha.
Nitin Gadkari, who was forced to quit as BJP chief following charges of irregularities in a company managed by him, has been given the charge of preparing a ‘Vision Document’ of the party along with the responsibility to oversee the election management for the Delhi Assembly polls.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, the trusted aide of the Gujarat Chief Minister Amit Shah and a confidant of the BJP president Sudhanshu Trivedi have been tasked with overseeing the electronic and print media campaign. The party intends to kick-start the election campaign from next month by organising meetings and rallies which will be addressed by senior leaders in all Lok Sabha constituencies.