A day after claiming that he was not suffering from ‘NaMonia’, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday called the party’s newly appointed campaign panel head Narendra Modi as an unmatched leader and insisted he hadn’t changed sides.
“In the last three days I have been shown as anti-Narendra Modi and pro-LK Advani. The fact of the matter is I have spoken to none of them,” Sinha said, stressing that he was one of the first ones in the BJP to “speak in favour of Narendra Modi”.
“The reason was that the cadres wanted it, the people wanted it. He has no match in the Congress party or elsewhere,” he said in a statement issued in Delhi.
In Panaji, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley described Modi as “best possible card” for the party in 2014 elections and there was consensus among leaders and cadres that the party has to give a special responsibility to a person perceived as “popular” and “inspirational”.
Jaitely also dismissed suggestions of any differences in the party on Modi’s getting prime responsibility, especially in relation to Advani. “He (Advani) has no such position as has been widely perceived by the media,” Jaitley said, adding that the veteran leader stayed away because he was not in the best of health.
Sinha invoked the Indian tradition of respecting elders with reference to his comments earlier this week that Advani should be taken on board on the issue of leadership. “Our values teach us to have and show the highest respect and regard to our elders,” his statement issued after Modi’s appointment, read.
The former finance minister blamed the media for creating an impression that he was siding with Advani. “I was one of the earlier in the BJP to speak in favour of Narendra Modi,” he said and added, “The media has forced us into quicksand of an imagined clash of personalities, there is no Advani-Modi clash,” he said.
The BJP leaders perceived Modi’s appointment to escalate war of words between him and the Congress. Congress is poorly placed. “We have intensified the campaign against the Congress party,” Jaitley said.