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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Marathon meetings for BJP 'poll star' Modi in Delhi

Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 05, 2013
First Published: 00:53 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 09:13 IST(5/7/2013)

Weeks after the Janata Dal (United) ended its 17-year alliance with the BJP over Narendra Modi's elevation as the saffron party's campaign face for 2014, the Gujarat chief minister will telephonically interact with 1,500 BJP workers in Bihar on Friday.

The Bihar outreach would be his first after the split with the JD(U), and he is expected to follow it up with a party rally in Patna in October.

Modi had another significant interaction on Thursday when he sat next to BJP veteran LK Advani at a meeting of the party's parliamentary board - its highest decision-making body - in the Capital. The 'truce' came less than a month after the patriarch's very public revolt against the former's elevation.

During the course of the meeting, Modi also met the party general secretaries, most of whom are likely to be in his national campaign committee to be announced later.

The parliamentary board - comprising BJP chief Rajnath Singh, Modi, both leaders of the Opposition in Parliament and former party chiefs - discussed broad plans, sources said, skipping the details for another meeting on Monday.

"The Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha polls were discussed. We'll hold karyakarta (activist) meetings in all parliamentary constituencies, mobilising 15,000-20,000 workers in each," general secretary Ananth Kumar said after the meeting.

"We'll also bring out an aarop patra (charge sheet) against the Congress in all states and a vikas patra detailing the NDA's development work."

Thursday's meeting also discussed the Uttarakhand tragedy with the BJP deciding to hold prayer meetings across the country on July 16 and to disburse compensation to the families of the dead.

The government's ordinance on food security came in for criticism. "The intention doesn't seem good and they don't think their allies are on board," Kumar said. After the meeting, Modi paid President Pranab Mukherjee a courtesy call - seen as yet another signal that he is now the BJP's prime leader.

Earlier, Janata Party president Subrahmanian Swamy met the Gujarat strongman and offered to merge his one-man party with the BJP. A meeting with BJP general secretary Varun Gandhi rounded off a busy day for Modi.

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