Detractors of newly minted BJP poll committee chief Narendra Modi have a message from former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu — “Think of 2014, not 2002”.
“Please move forward. Don’t look backward. Otherwise, it’ll be (bad) for the country,” said Naidu on Thursday.
Accusing the Congress of playing the communalism card, Naidu made an oblique pitch for the Gujarat CM. “People want a decisive, dynamic, development-oriented leader. Congress doesn’t have one, and so it’s diverting attention.”
While he maintained that the BJP’s parliamentary board would decide the PM candidate, he threw ample hints that it would be Modi. “What’s the name all people are mentioning? You know it. But the parliamentary board will decide, I can’t.”
Citing a media poll, Naidu said even in Bihar, 63% people wanted Narendra Modi as PM, higher than the 24% for chief minister Nitish Kumar.
He said he found it difficult to believe that the likes of JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who had opposed the Congress all through, were happy getting a certificate of secularism from the party so quickly.
While maintaining that he could not comment on party senior LK Advani, Naidu hit out at his aide, Sudheendra Kulkarni, for calling Modi an ‘autocrat’ and Rajnath Singh ‘foxy’.