Narendra Modi is BJP's most wanted

Updated on May 04, 2004 04:15 PM IST

Gujarat CM is fast emerging the first among equals in BJP's second-generation leadership.

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PTI | ByAshish Mehta, Indo-Asian News Service, Ahmedabad

Elections in his state are long over but Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi seems not to have a moment to lose.

So busy is he playing star campaigner across India for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that he may spend more time outside the state than in it till polling ends May 10.

Right now, he is on a brief visit to Gujarat on the occasion of the state's 45th foundation day on Saturday. He is participating in the official celebrations in Surat.

He will, however, leave the next day for a two-day visit of the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh.

In particular, he will visit Ujjain and Indore and participate in the ongoing Kumbh Mela.

"Modi will attend the Kumbh Mela, he will interact with the sadhus there and take a holy dip in the river Shipra," a source in the chief minister's office (CMO) said.

He will use the opportunity to campaign for his party there. A party spokesperson told IANS that the BJP leadership wanted to use Modi's popularity in other parts of the country, as polling was over in Gujarat.

With an ability to connect easily with the masses, impeccable Hindi, a way with words and a communal card to play if everything else fails, Modi has emerged as an ace crowd-puller for the BJP.

Campaigning outside the state, he is also emerging as the first among equals in the second-generation leadership of the party at the national level.

Modi's campaign so far has been marked by tirades against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, particularly her foreign origin.

His itinerary also includes the politically vital state of Uttar Pradesh. Modi will later tour Uttaranchal, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.

Polling was completed in Gujarat April 20, and the very next day Modi started on a four-day campaign.

In the first two days of the tour, he visited the southern state of Karnataka where assembly elections are being held along with the general election. He addressed about 15 election rallies in the state.

Modi also visited Orissa, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

In the run-p to the first phase of polling, Modi had addressed an election rally in Solapur in neighbouring Maharashtra.

Gujarat BJP workers seem to have taken a leaf out of Modi's book, as a number of functionaries going to other states to help the party machinery at election time.

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