A lunch meeting between senior BJP leader LK Advani and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday could prove to be critical for plans to announce Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014. The party’s cadre is abuzz with anticipation that Modi might be named as the candidate on September 9.
With the Gujarat CM’s birthday on September 17, his supporters are keen that the announcement is made a week in advance. Any announcement after September 20 is ruled out since the period of “Pitrupaksh” starts, which is believed to be inauspicious for any major initiative. In fact Modi’s supporters in the party argue that with an early announcement they can start building up momentum that will help the party garner 180 to 200 seats in the 2014 general elections.
However, Modi’s detractors say that with Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar holding the cards in Karnataka, the chances of getting over 140 seats seems highly unlikely. There are also murmurs that Chhattisgarh will go the way of the Congress, thus blunting the edge that the party might have to win a larger number of seats in the 2014 general elections.
It is understood that Suresh (Bhaiyaji) Joshi of the RSS met Advani last week to get his assent to the declaration but party sources told dna that the leader is not agreeable. “In fact Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan has also requested the party leadership to not make any such announcement till the assembly elections are over,” a senior party leader said.
While Modi has stated that he is “not dreaming to be the prime minister,” party sources say that there is some worry after the letter from jailed Gujarat cop DG Vanzara emerged a few days ago. The letter can prove to be trouble for key Modi aide Amit Shah, who has been blamed by Vanzara for their continued incarceration in the fake encounter case.
However, Modi is going ahead with his schedule of nationwide rallies in Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan this month.