Contrary to other leaders, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Nitin Gadkari stayed away from endorsing Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the future PM at a rally in Mehsana in Gujarat on Sunday.
Gadkari’s silence on the issue at a rally in Modi’s hometown indicates that there is no unanimous opinion on the PM candidature and the position is still up for grabs. It also points to internal infighting within the party that has seen Modi and Gadkari in opposite camps.
In Gujarat, poll campaigns have been increasingly used to project Modi as the future PM, with experts terming it is a strategy to woo voters.
A day earlier, BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj, also seen as a PM aspirant within the party, said that Modi was capable and efficient to be the Prime Minister.
“Gujarat elections are the trailer, the real film will be the 2014 polls, which will bring down the UPA government and bring in our NDA government to power,” said Gadkari.
In his hour-long speech, he praised Modi’s development model for Gujarat, saying it would be emulated at the Centre, but stopped short of naming the person who would lead the party.
“Your vote will be a harbinger of change, it will jolt Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi’s rule at the Centre.”
Other BJP leaders show support
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Sunday, backed leader Sushma Swaraj’s statement that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was “fit” for the job of prime minister.
Party leader Arun Jaitley said the Gujarat chief minister is “very successful and popular and we will obviously praise him”.
BJP leader Gopinath Munde, on Sunday, backed Modi. “Modi is capable of becoming the PM and I am satisfied with Sushma Swaraj’s opinion... He has the potential,” he said in Ahmedabad.