Even as the BJP brainstormed on whether Narendra Modi would be elevated as central campaign coordinator of the BJP here – with many saying the deal was done, barring last-moment hitches the BJP is notorious for – the man of the moment seemed relaxed.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at the party's national executive meeting in Panaji, Goa. PTI Photo
Amid all the speculation, one thing was clear: Sunday is likely to be Modi’s day at the conclave. His likely announcement apart, Modi will also speak on election management at the conclave and address a local BJP public function.
Looking cheerful, Modi came out of his second-floor room at the Marriott Resort here – the venue of the party conclave – on Saturday morning and had idli for breakfast with party leaders, including many younger ones.
He also sat in the lobby for a short while – with party workers greeting him – and then headed for the hall, reportedly walking with Sushma Swaraj, who is believed to be unhappy with his meteoric rise. They laughed and exchanged pleasantries, sources said.
Once in the hall, Modi was the cynosure of all eyes in his light-blue kurta, listening quietly as party president Rajnath Singh hinted at his elevation on Sunday as the party’s campaign committee convenor.
A day earlier, he had maintained a low profile as Advani’s absence stole the limelight. He had attended the extended office bearers’ meet on Friday evening, where the elevation wasn’t discussed.
Modi had a light dinner on Friday – dal, chawal and khichdi – as intensive consultations took place in the party till late in the night.
It was on Saturday morning that the picture seemed clearer, with Singh telling delegates that their feelings would be kept in mind and they should go from Goa with enthusiasm. He also told them Advani had sent his blessings on the phone.