The RSS and BJP on Monday wrapped up their two-day conclave on the 2014 polls, leaving little suspense over Narendra Modi’s declaration as the prime ministerial candidate.
As reported by HT a day earlier, the board in all probability is widely expected to meet between September 12 and 16 as BJP leaders would like to avoid an announcement on Modi’s 63rd birthday, which falls on September 17, or very close to it.
Even as media headlines call it a birthday gift, senior BJP leaders told HT that was not the board’s message. “Modi is being chosen because he is the right person for the moment,”said a top party leader.
In all back-room parleys between BJP and RSS leaders, it was BJP president Rajnath Singh’s role in pushing Modi’s name that came out strongly. Another BJP strategist said, “Once, he knew the RSS view on Modi, the BJP chief became the single most driving factor.”
Aiding him in his bid were RSS points person Suresh Soni and BJP leader Arun Jaitely, who was clear that any delay in naming Modi would be like the BJP refusing to play its best card.
Often criticised by other BJP leaders for being “too slow in arriving at decisions,”
Singh pursued this agenda with a single-point focus, right from the time he took over from Nitin Gadkari in January. First, Singh went ahead to name Modi as head of BJP’s campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in spite of strong resistance from LK Advani, who protested by reassigning from all posts. Later, he withdrew his resignation after a lot of persuation.
Subsequently, the BJP chief’s efforts were guided by the support from the RSS brass for Modi, and Singh’s perception of a “groundswell” for him across the country. Other BJP leaders backed him, barring of course, those opposed to Modi.