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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Please-all plan helps Rajnath run the show

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 03, 2013
First Published: 01:21 IST(3/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(3/3/2013)

Forced by circumstances to occupy the hot seat in BJP after Nitin Gadkari's sudden exit as party chief, Rajnath Singh showed to his senior colleagues as well as BJP cadres and the party's ideological parent body, RSS, that he's best bet to manage the organisation's contradictions in the run-up to the 2014 polls.

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As everyone in BJP await his choice of new team of political managers to fight the elections, Singh hinted at a please-all scheme of things that should satisfy the clamour for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's eventual larger role and other rivlas too.

On Saturday, as Singh rolled out a red carpet for Modi, questions as to whether he will be declared prime minister candidate, or just chair the BJP's campaign panel or be a member of the party's parliamentary board seemed a matter of details.

Singh accorded a special welcome to Modi by asking the 2,200-strong crowd to give him a standing ovation for his third consecutive assembly election victory - an unprecedented feat for any BJP chief minister.

For Modi's loyalists, who see his projection as prime minister candidate only a question of time, the BJP chief showed he held the conductor's baton that will be used to enhance the inner symphony before the Lok Sabha elections, BJP insiders said.

As for other senior BJP leaders who still held reservation over Modi's formal annointment, Singh did not leave them panting for breath so quickly either. As yet the "elaborate process" of an actual decision by the BJP parliamentary board in favour of Modi could still depend on several "ponderables" and ride over humps.

Nevertheless, whatever may be Modi's eventual positioning, the party chief through his words and drama made it clear that he and Modi would be a team and work as one as desired by the RSS too, which is not blind to the immense "charisma" of the Gujarat CM for its core voters, a BJP leader said.

In granting the focus to remain on Modi, Singh did not forget any of the RSS' political concerns in his address to the conclave. "Whether it was owning up the legacy of Swami Vivekananda, denouncing UPA's bid to paint BJP and RSS in terror clothes, protecting the Ram Sethu, deporting illegal Bangladeshi migrants, giving representation of Kashmiri pandits and PoK in the J&K assembly, Rajnath said it all."


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