The rising stock of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi within the BJP was apparently visible at the party's national executive meet in New Delhi on Friday when president Rajnath Singh gave him a special welcome and noted that even the European Union is recognising his achievements.
Modi, seen as a frontrunner among BJP's prime ministerial probables, was lauded by Singh for achieving the unprecedented feat of winning three consecutive elections in Gujarat. Singh said no other BJP chief minister has such a record.
"The party president accorded a special welcome to Narendra Modi. He has created a new record among the BJP chief ministers by being the first to be re-elected for the third consecutive term with a very convincing majority. All the national executive members also welcomed him," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference.
Singh appreciated Modi's performance again in his speech when he criticised the UPA government's "failure" in reviving the economy.
"The president also said that performance of BJP-ruled states is being discussed around the world. He made a special mention of Gujarat. That even the European Union is recognising this and despite several campaigns against him they are trying to build new relations with him," Prasad said.
But the BJP was non-committal on whether the issue of who will be its prime ministerial candidate has been settled in Modi's favour.
Asked about it, Prasad said, "I think the national president has clarified repeatedly. Let me reiterate it today.
We are very proud of the leadership of Narendra Modi. He was appreciated, complimented because of the historic third win, being the first BJP chief minister to do so.
"But who shall be the PM candidate of the BJP, the party's Parliamentary Board will decide at the appropriate time."