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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Hat-trick Modi makes an ‘Atal presence’ in city

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, December 23, 2012
First Published: 12:19 IST(23/12/2012) | Last Updated: 12:24 IST(23/12/2012)

Even before Narendra Modi won Gujarat for the third time, the ‘Modi-as-PM-candidate’ debate had begun.

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And surprisingly enough, in a very planned manner, theories about RSS planning to get Modi to contest from Lucknow had begun as well. It could well be an RSS plan, but then after Modi’s hat-trick even BJP workers have started discussing the possibility. Some of them have even put up a hoarding outside the UP BJP office showcasing Modi and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was the Lucknow MP for a record five terms.

While senior BJP l eaders, i ncluding state chief Laxmikant Bajpai, deny any knowledge about any plan to field Modi from UP –yet the present Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon, a Vajpayee protégé fuelled speculations while responding to a query on the subject at his press conference.

“It would be nice. I would back him to win,” said Tandon. There is good reason why the Modi-in-UP theory is gaining ground.

After winning Gujarat for the third time, Modi’s standing within his party has improved significantly. Several BJP leaders are openly backing him to be the party’s PM candidate in the 2014 polls.

And some BJP l eaders, during private conversations, do not rule out the possibility of getting Modi to contest from two constituencies – one each in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

“There is a clear merit in the move. The BJP, Kalyan Singh’s return notwithstanding, doesn’t have such leaders now who can galvanise the masses across the state. Modi is one such leader who despite being an outsider in UP, has high TRP ratings even here. And by propping him, the saffron brigade could well hope to polarise the atmosphere specially when the ruling Samajwadi Party is being dubbed as being pro-Muslim,” says a BJP leader.

“Gujarat has been a success story for Modiji and the BJP. This win proves that ideology and development could go hand in hand. So obviously there is a lesson in Modi’s win for the BJP,” said Yogi Adityanath, the firebrand BJP MP from Gorakhpur, probably hinting that the party had some ‘plans’ to bring a bout a change in its political fortunes in the Hindi heartland.


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