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Updated: June 8, 2013 02:05 IST

Wheel set to turn full circle for Modi at Panaji

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Panaji on Friday to attend the BJP National Executive meet.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Panaji on Friday to attend the BJP National Executive meet.

If a week is a long time in politics, a decade is like an epoch for the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and BJP veteran L.K. Advani.

The Goa capital, where the two-day BJP National Executive meeting will be held on Saturday and Sunday, has a special significance for the two men.

Eleven years ago, the BJP National Executive which was held here was over-shadowed by divisions within the party on the propriety of allowing Mr. Modi to be at the helm of affairs in Ahmedabad after the horrendous riots which convulsed Gujarat in February and March 2002.

Mr. Advani, who was Union Home Minister at the time, stood solidly behind Mr. Modi and prevailed on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee not to give in to demands for replacement of the Gujarat CM on the plea that it would send the wrong signals to the party rank and file.

Ironically, it is Mr. Advani who is in the forefront of the campaign against making the Gujarat Chief Minister the face of the party today.

Despite the resistance, the latest executive could see the party entrusting Mr. Modi with a responsibility which puts him way ahead in the race on who is the best bet to the party's 2014 general election face.

However, there is no clarity on whether the BJP would make a formal announcement at the end of the National Executive on Sunday on constitution of a national committee to coordinate the campaign for the elections scheduled in five States this year end and the 2014 general election.

If there is a delay in the announcement on Mr. Modi, it is only account of the endeavour by the party president Rajnath Singh to get all leaders on board. Senior party L K Advani has been active in the last few weeks to halt the Modi juggernaut in the party.

He raised hackles within the party by declaring at a public meeting in Gwalior a few days ago that if it all any one in the party deserve kudos for crafting a development strategy to lift a backward State it is the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan not Mr. Modi who presided over an already developed State.

The very next day the BJP leadership went into a damage control mode almost blaming the media for misinterpreting comments of Mr. Advani. While the party president was forced to go public that it was Mr. Modi was the most popular leader in the party, the MP Chief Minister had to say that he is not even number three in BJP.

Undeterred by it Mr. Advani fired another salvo by suggesting that the task of coordinating the elections should be given to the former party president Nitin Gadkari only to face a clear `no, thank you’ from Mr. Gadkari.

The BJP president is believed to be engaged in consultations among the top leaders in a bid to evolve consensus on the contentious issue.

“There is expectation among the cadre that BJP president Rajnath Singh will give out a clear message to the party at the Goa conclave. He has been working on it and is in consultation with BJP top brass and members of Parliamentary Board prior to the conclave,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said when asked about the issue.

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Mr.L.K.Advani should work for the unity of the party and making Mr.Modi to be projected as a choice for PM.The way the race is on for 2014 both in Congress and BJP,personal interest seems to predominate national interest.India needs a statesman /woman to lead the country selflessly. Gone are the situation that prevailed in 1947 and enough challenges are ahead for whichever party that comes to power at the center.Pray for the right person to lead the country after 2014 elections.

from:  V.Sivasubramaniam
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 07:56 IST

B.J.P. Senior Leader Mr Narendera Modi seems to be on the drivers seat ,
with the sweep in the By Elections in Gujarat it is assumed that
Narendera Modi can be given important assignment in the coming Days to
fulfill mission 2014 . As there is no difference of opinion among the
B.J.P. Top Brass as all are committed to fulfill mission 2014 .

Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 07:17 IST

The last time in Goa, BJP followed the Mr. Advani's line and protected
Mr. Modi but had to pay for it by losing 2004 general elections (by Mr.
Vajpayee's own admission, 2002 Gujarat riots cost them the election).
Hopefully, this time Mr. Advani's voice will be ignored.

from:  Arif Hussain
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 07:13 IST

Advani, at age 87 would be near 90 years when actual election comes. We respect the age and the experience. But that should be used to assist others and should not have the ambition still to become PM. The respected veteran, should leave ways for others. If it not for Modi, but in general for other people to be the face of the party. You cannor try to dictate things since because, you are one of the founders.

from:  Vinoo
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 06:48 IST

It is hard for old aged people to pass on the seniority to a young deserving person with top
notch governance capability. Obviously, Modi is the most eligible person to take over the
country and take to the top. Unfortunately, once patriotic Advani doesn't care if India is
destroyed. So shameful.

from:  Dipak
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 06:43 IST

The Old Guard has failed with its time worn ideas and Rath Yatras. And they don't want to see someone with different ideas and sterling record succeed where they failed.

There is also a venal side to it. They don't want change. They are comfortable in the opposition with the perks and privileges that come with it. But changing the system with performance which Narendra Modi and his followers are trying to achieve will pull them out of their comfort zone and make them work differently. They want to avoid it at all cost.

There is no principle involved in it except self interest.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 05:35 IST

BJP before making this important decision have to resolve their internal differences and also get an agreement with JD(U).
Congress is trying to create a rift with in BJP and also may offer all sorts of incentives for Nitish Kumar to come out of NDA alliance. Congress is weak now and they will resort to all tricks to create a confusion. BJP has to take all factors before making a formal announcement. Congress do not deserve another term after so many scams, total failure in National security, and diluting and interfering with Constitutional bodies and high inflation.Congress only goal is to make Rahul Gandhi PM who has no experience A golden opportunity for BJP. Testing time for the leadership of BJP.

from:  Narayanan Krishnan
Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 at 04:34 IST
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