Sunday, August 18, 2013

Name Narendra Modi as PM nominee, Bihar BJP demands - Times of India

GAYA/NEW DELHI: The BJP's Bihar unit on Saturday passed a resolution asking the central leadership to formally declare Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as the party's PM candidate.

The unanimous resolution of the state executive came amid indications of the leadership's diffidence about taking the decisive call despite the groundswell among the ranks for Modi, and was quickly interpreted at goading the parliamentary board to make the announcement after Parliament's monsoon session ends on August 30

Moved by the leader of Bihar unit Sushil Modi, it marked an unprecedented intervention from the state level in an affair which the party insists is the prerogative of the parliamentary board, the elite decision-making body. The development coincides with the signs suggesting that the leadership is dragging its feet over following through Gujarat CM's appointment as the chairman of party's national campaign committee by projecting him as the PM candidate for 2014.

Sources said that the leadership, which working in tandem with RSS top brass had defied resistance from a few bigwigs to make the announcement in Goa, seems to be suddenly overcome with the fear of a fresh eruption of dissension if Modi is anointed. Those close to the leadership stress that Modi's projection as the PM candidate was inevitable, but emphasize that a display of dissension on the eve of crucial assembly elections and during the lead up to the 2014 polls will be ammunition for the Congress.

BJP-watchers feel that the show for Modi from states may encourage the leadership to defy the "veto" of an entrenched minority who look isolated. The assessment is derived from the enthusiasm with which local units, sources say, have embraced the party's "nayi soch, nayi ummed (new vision, new enthusiasm)" mantra.

According to the feedback, the punch line — a moniker to mark the emergence of Modi as the new leader of the party — has been adopted by local units across the country even when there is nothing official about it.

The resolution of Bihar unit is significant also because of its timing. It comes towards the fag end of the monsoon session of Parliament. Sources close to the leadership have explained the delay in the announcement of Modi's candidature for PM by citing the need to corner the UPA in Parliament, and by saying that the announcement — with the likelihood of protest — would have hindered the objective.

The resolution of the Bihar unit was adopted amid slogans declaring Modi as the next PM. In his speech, Sushil Modi praised the Gujarat CM for his achievements on the development front. Emphasizing that the Gujarat CM's father was a tea vendor, Sushil Modi said that the man who has defied poverty to emerge as one of the most popular leader was qualified to be the PM.
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