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Has Narendra Modi got the RSS vote?

india Updated: Feb 03, 2009 01:46 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times
Has Narendra Modi got the RSS vote? Satyajit Joshi

Has the Sangh top brass made up its mind to pick Narendra Modi as L.K. Advani’s successor after the Parliamentary elections?

Modi, who is keen to play a role in national politics, has earned some heavy praise from top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Mohan Bhagwat.

In a foreward to a book by the Gujarat chief minister, Bhagwat hailed him as “the one who runs public-oriented administration”. This is significant since Bhagwat is considered Number 2 in the RSS, after sangh chief K. Sudarshan.

“Narendra Modi is not only a pracharak of the RSS and a diplomat but is also chief minister of the prosperous state of Gujarat. He not only runs a public-oriented administration, he also has a multi-faceted personality,” Bhagwat wrote in the foreward for Jyotipunj, a Marathi translation of Modi’s book on the 16 RSS functionaries who have shaped his personality.

The book, translated from the original Gujarati into Marathi by journalist Ravindra Dani, was released in Pune on Sunday.

Among those at the launch were Modi, senior RSS leader Shripati Shastri and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi.

In the foreward, Bhagwat also described Modi as a popular leader and good administrator.

“It is very exceptional to have gratitude even if a person is at top of popularity. Narendra Modi is one of these exceptional cases,” Bhagwat wrote.

In Sangh circles, this is seen as a significant development, especially since Modi was recently picked as the ideal Prime Ministerial candidate by a panel of industrialists. Sangh insiders believe that Bhagwat’s praise is an indication that Modi is the Sangh favourite too.

Speaking at the function, Modi sought to downplay talk about his potential as future prime ministerial candidate.

“I never dreamt of any post, but I believe in action,” he said. “To dream of becoming someone is an obstacle to one’s progress.” He also insisted his priority was Gujarat.