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Heading for Delhi, a step at a time

india Updated: Dec 21, 2012 01:29 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
Shekhar Iyer

After winning Gujarat for a third time, Narendra Modi's agenda is clear. He will not seek to catapult himself into a central role and instead will take his time to move forward.

Modi is known not to take charge of anything unless all its parameters are under his command. At the moment, the situation within the BJP does not appear to be moving in that direction, say BJP insiders.

As far as his role in the central politics, the party is expected to involve Modi in greater details in planning and execution of its strategy for 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He is expected to be re-inducted into the BJP’s parliamentary board, along with other party CMs.

Modi will also be participating in BJP’s programmes and rallies outside Gujarat in the run-up to the 2014 polls. Even as chorus for a more active enhanced role rises, Modi’s every action will be watched by the party so that his eventual shift to Delhi comes at an ‘appropriate time’.

For now, BJP and RSS are still divided on the PM candidature issue. The RSS, which has improved its ties with Modi, may not mind him as BJP’s PM candidate, if other BJP leaders agree that it will be good for the party. But most leaders, believe that a decision on the PM's candidate should be decided after the results are known.

On December 7, Gadkari had said the BJP won't canvass for any leader. “I can say with authority as the party president that we will not project anybody before the elections and announce the PM candidate at the right time only. BJP is a democratic party and decisions are taken collectively in consultation with all leaders and allies.” There is not much change in this position despite the results in Gujarat.

In the meantime, “unfinished tasks” will keep Modi engaged. Close aides said Modi knew his next test will be the polls in 2014. Gujarat has 26 parliamentary seats. The tally after 2009 polls was 15 seats for BJP and 11 for the Congress. Modi would seek to improve the tally improves or at least retains the numbers.

On the ground, he would want his administration to quickly move to “consolidate” achievements made in various sectors in the last few years.

Modi will address issues — used against him by the Congress during the poll campaign — such as housing, and quality of education, officials said. “Water, power, transport, housing and education will be his top priority,” said a top aide.