BJP sounds poll bugle; Modi reined in

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

BJP President Rajnath Singh, senior leader L.K.Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the party's Parliamentary Board Meeting at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. - R V Moorthy

The efforts of Bharatiya Janata Party veterans L.K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to shift the focus of the party from Narendra Modi seem to have started paying off.

A meeting of the BJP’s Parliamentary Board — the second in a week — on Monday decided to delegate the responsibilities of the high-profile campaign committee. The committee, headed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, will get assistance from six or more sub-committees to prepare the election manifesto, development agenda, policy framework, charge-sheet against the Congress and organise election meetings.

Modi will not have a free hand in deciding the members of these committees. The Board has authorised party president Rajnath Singh and Modi to hold consultations with senior party leaders and take a decision.

RSS support

Advani and Joshi had visited the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur last week. Both leaders met the RSS top brass separately and had reportedly warned it against the “new trends” in BJP.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had assured Advani earlier that his concerns would be addressed by the Sangh. The recent controversies on Uttarakhand rehabilitation and the Central Bureau of Investigation’s charge-sheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, and Modi’s aide and BJP general secretary Amit Shah’s statement on the construction of Ram temple has also not gone down well within a section of the RSS.

They believe that such issues, dealt by the RSS for so many years, cannot be used to consolidate one’s position within the BJP. Rajnath Singh himself had ruled out the possibility of making the Ram temple an election issue.

Election ready

On Monday, the BJP said it was ready to face elections. Senior party leader Ananth Kumar, who briefed reporters after the meeting, said good governance and development would be the BJP’s poll planks. “The BJP is in election mode. We are ready for snap polls,” Kumar said. In its last meeting held on July 4, the board had started discussions on the election strategy.


Published on July 08, 2013

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