Amid chants of ‘PM, PM’ in the presence of the BJP President Nitin Gadkari, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addressed a large gathering of charged party workers at the BJP National Headquarters here.
Mr. Modi made optimum use of the opportunity provided by the party workers who had invited him to the headquarters for his latest victory.
The Gujarat Chief Minister left little to doubt on his ambitions to play a bigger role. This was evident when he did not even attempt to restrain the workers shouting ‘PM, PM’. It was a repeat of what he did in his thanksgiving speech hours after his victory in the recent assembly election.
“As a BJP worker, whatever responsibility is given to me by the party I will fulfill them. In the past, whatever responsibilities have been given to me, I have shouldered them with full dedication.”
He told the workers that it was the strength of the BJP and India’s democracy that even the simplest and commonest of men can get big responsibilities.
The party office, which could barely accommodate a few hundred people, was flooded with fired-up workers. The visit assumes special significance as some of his supporters are engaged in a systematic campaign to market him as the most capable leader to lead the BJP in the 2014 general election.
Before heading to the BJP office, he visited former Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee and stayed with him for a few minutes.
At the party headquarters, sensing that the moment clearly belonged to Mr. Modi, the BJP president restricted himself to a few brief comments. Mr. Modi said he had never thought he would ever be welcomed in the party office with such warmth and respect.
“There is a special reason for this. I have spent some very important years of my life at the party headquarters, 11, Ashoka Road, in a small kholi (room),” Modi said, recounting his earlier stint in the national capital as an office-bearer of the party.
Hitting out at the Centre for its low growth projections, he charged it with neither having any plan nor the political will to steer the nation forward.
“It is unfortunate for the country that there is a sense of sadness and pessimism. You are leading the nation into further pessimism. There is no thought, no action plan, no leadership and no political will to take the country forward,” Mr. Modi said.