HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

PMO, Shah's defence of Rajnath cements his position

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 27, 2014
First Published: 23:29 IST(27/8/2014) | Last Updated: 11:00 IST(28/8/2014)

The back to back statements from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday giving a 'clean chit' to Home Minister Rajnath Singh comes as a big relief for the senior Uttar Pradesh politician.

Read: Congress questions Modi and Rajnath, but opposition divided

Singh’s position in the government and the party had become a matter of media speculation with a series of reports claiming the PMO was clipping his wing, quietly. Singh is a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and two-time BJP chief who was instrumental in Modi's projection as party's campaign committee chief and eventually its PM face.

Read: PMO defends Rajnath, denies charges against son


The statement by the Prime Minister’s Office and the BJP tried to end all speculation about Singh's position in the government and the party. Also, it attempted to dismiss speculation about a sense of distrust among leaders at the top echelons of the government and in the organisation.

“Read the two statements along with the Shah’s Tuesday decision to include only Modi and Singh in the margdarshak mandal of the party along with three veteran leaders of the BJP. The story about Singh losing relevance in the party and the government is purely a media speculation,” a BJP leader told HT. Incidentally, at the recent BJP conclave in Delhi this month, Modi had called Singh as the captain of the team that led party to victory in national election.

Watch: Will quit politics if allegations proved against me or family: Rajnath Singh


Read: Induct only leaders with elective merit, says Shah

In a strong worded statement on Wednesday, the PM said, “Those indulging in such rumour mongering are damaging the interest of the nation” and added that it amounted to “tarnishing the image of the government”.

Hours later Shah issued a separate statement describing Singh as one of the senior most leader of the party who marched shoulder to shoulder with Modi to lead the party to a historic victory in Lok Sabha elections. He also called Singh’s politician son Pankaj Singh, a general secretary of UP BJP, a dedicated worker of the party who has shouldered several responsibilities in last 10 years.

Read: Bishnoi set to end ties with BJP

Read: BJP pride at stake in UP bypolls

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