BJP to get Modi to head its poll panel for 2014

BJP to get Modi to head its poll panel for 2014

Keeping aside strong opposition by veteran LK Advani, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to go ahead and appoint Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi election committee chairman after two-day Goa conclave concludes on Sunday.

BJP sources said party president Rajnath Singh, after the end of the conclave, is expected to call a meeting of the 12-member central parliamentary board — the highest decision-making body in the party — towards the end of the month to decide and announce Modi’s name as the head of the poll panel for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

It is learnt that the party wanted to take a decision prior to the Goa executive committee meeting, but could not do so in the wake of strong opposition from former deputy prime minister L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

On Tuesday, interestingly, Arun Jaitley in an interview to a news channel said that Modi has a “special place in the BJP’s campaign”.

The BJP is unlikely to deliberate on the fate of Modi during internal discussions at the Goa summit because it is not a platform to take sensitive decisions. Besides, the occasion would be used to meticulously target the corrupt UPA government’s economic failure and lack of governance, said BJP sources.

The BJP wants to weather out the poll-mascot turbulence as early as possible to arrest what top leaders believe is bad publicity the party is getting, which is not only demoralising the cadre but hurting future prospects as well.

Sources said that the party’s strategy of projecting Modi as only election committee head and not a Prime Ministerial candidate is to avoid rubbing sensitive NDA allies the wrong way. The leaders believe that the partners cannot question the appointment of the poll panel head, because it is purely a prerogative of the BJP.

And the situation emerging after the general elections would help decide the future course of action on the prime ministerial candidate.

The Janata Dal-United (JD-U), at its April executive committee meet, had clearly spelt out that supporting Modi’s bid would compromise the alliance’s “secular credentials”.

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