NATIONAL

BJP to develop Gujarat as 'model State'

AHMEDABAD JAN. 3. Encouraged by the massive mandate it received in the State Assembly elections, the ruling BJP has planned to develop Gujarat again as its "model State.''

This will be one of the main issues to be discussed at the State executive meeting of the party to be held in Gandhinagar tomorrow and to be attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani, and the party's national general secretary, Arun Jaitley, the party's State unit president, Rajendrasinh Rana, said here today. After the two-thirds majority it won in the State Assembly in the 1998 elections, the BJP had declared Gujarat as its "model State'' but the misadministration by the Keshubhai Patel Ministry and the subsequent communal riots in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage forced the party leadership to drop the claim.

With the communal riots still raging in one town or the other, particularly in the central Gujarat region, the party will find it hard to convince the people about its `model State' move unless the Narendra Modi administration took immediate steps to stop the disturbances.

Mr. Modi has so far fallen short of his promise after his second swearing-in to restore peace and hand out "justice for all.''There have been allegations of the elected representatives of the BJP being involved in the riots in different parts of the State.Mr. Rana said the massive mandate had increased the party's responsibility to measure up to people's expectations

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