After a word with some captains of industry, the Central BJP leadership decided to play down top business honchos’ praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a prime minister candidate, while Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh distanced himself from industrialist Anil Ambani’s support for Narendra Modi’s candidature for prime ministership on Thursday. “I am not spokesman for Anil Ambani and he is not a member of my party,” Singh told Hindustan Times.
Embarrassed by the discussion on Modi as prime minister, the BJP sought to take credit for Modi’s alleged success. “Advani and other BJP leaders are behind Modi’s performance and other party chief ministers are equally good in their work. The prime minister doesn’t get elected in investors’ conference, and it’s people who decide in a democracy,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Asked if the BJP was trying to contain any adverse impact on Advani’s campaign following the praise showered on Modi, Rudy said, “Our chief ministers get political guidance and inspirations from Advani and the BJP’s national leadership because of their successful experience in running the NDA government,” Rudy said.
Politicians in general also chose not to comment on the practice of industrialists endorsing candidates for prime minister. Amar Singh said he had no comments to make while BJP sources said, “any individual — industrialists included — can make suggestions.”
“We are not against industrialists. It is only a couple of people within India Inc who are endorsing Modi. But we are surprised at the utter insensitivity displayed by these individuals in endorsing a man whose track record on civil rights and governance is abysmal,’’ said Congress spokesman Manish Tewari.
“They should have looked at the totality of Modi’s record before giving a testimonial… The last time when such fatal attraction reached fruition with fascist forces the world had to pay a heavy price,’’ he added, referring to Adolf Hitler’s reign.