Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was the cynosure of all eyes at the BJP national council meeting in New Delhi, thus making it clear, once again, that he is the most popular leader in the party. Although the party did not name him as its prime ministerial candidate, it gave enough hints to indicate that he would lead it in the Lok Sabha elections.
Probably for the first time, India is heading for a US presidential-type elections in 2014 (or earlier) with both the leading parties almost making up their minds on prime ministerial elections. In January, Rahul Gandhi was appointed Congress party vice-president, making him officially the number two in the party, and potential future PM if the UPA returns to power. This clarity from both the parties is welcome.
For the BJP, the hard work begins now. So far Modi has been content to constantly criticise the Gandhis and the Congress. But the people would be better served if he outlined his plans for making India a better country, and on how he intends to unite this fractious nation. The BJP has flayed the Congress’ economic policies and decisions, without suggesting a viable alternative or their own agenda.
It is also time for the political parties who oppose Modi to make their stand clear. To say they back the BJP but not Modi would amount to sheer hypocrisy.