Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 27. Newly elected BJP president Rajnath Singh remained closeted with Narendra Modi for over two hours on Sunday, renewing speculations of a bigger role for the Gujarat Chief Minister at the national level.
The leaders refused to divulge much about the meeting but confirmed that the discussion revolved around the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Political observers say the meeting, coming just four days after Singh’s election as the BJP chief, proves that the Gujarat Chief Minister is in for a bigger role in the BJP’s national-level plans.
While he is likely to be made the head of the party’s election campaigning committee, he may also be included in the BJP’s Parliamentary Board – the highest decision making body of the party.
That a bigger role is being planned for the Gujarat Chief Minister was also hinted at by Singh, who said he was in talks with other party leaders on the issue.
Party sources say while Modi may not be acceptable universally among BJP allies in the NDA that it leads, recent surveys favouring him as the Prime Minister have strengthened his position in the party.
It is keeping this in mind that his name has been finalised for the post of the head of the election campaign committee.
“Making him the head of the committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections will pitch him directly against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, who also heads his party’s election coordination committee,” a source said.
With crucial states like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and three north-eastern states headed for elections in the coming months, Singh is keen on having in place a core team that he trusts.
Sources say the new BJP president plans to make some changes to the core team soon and Modi is likely to fit in his scheme of things.
The move also has the blessings of the RSS – the BJP’s ideological head. The announcement is expected soon but Modi is unlikely to resign as Gujarat Chief Minister since the RSS believes he should give up his post only when the BJP has all its numbers and other factors completely under control.
The party has so far kept quiet on its choice for the top post but the situation is evolving toward a scenario where Singh will head the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with Modi as the frontrunner for the top post from the BJP.