Modi ‘A State Leader’ For Congress

RSS drops hints of backing him

NEW DELHI (TIP): Despite a section ofthe BJP seeing him as the PM candidate,the Congress has sought to project Gujaratchief minister Narendra Modi as a stateleader and dismissed suggestion that hehad hijacked Rahul Gandhi’s agenda ofconnecting with youth. It also steered clearof questions whether the next Lok Sabhapolls will be a Rahul Gandhi vs NarendraModi tussle.”Whom to project as the PM candidate isthe internal matter of the BJP and sinceModi is Gujarat chief minister, the GujaratPCC will appropriately respond to whateverhe has said,” was the response of partyspokesman Rashid Alvi to reporters onFebruary 7.

He said that the Congress would like tosee Rahul, who is its leader, to become thenext Prime Minister.But, Alvi insisted that the party does notname its PM candidate before elections andthe leader is chosen by the high commandalong with the newly elected members ofParliament.The Congress spokesman dismissedsuggestions that Modi through his speechin New Delhi on Wednesday had hijackedRahul Gandhi’s agenda of connecting withyouth. However, in an oblique hint RSSchief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursdayappeared to back Narendra Modi as BJP’sprime ministerial candidate but said theparty will be responsible for theconsequences of its decision.

Speaking at the VHP ‘dharma sansad’, agathering of religious leaders, he referred to the clamour for Modi as PM candidateat the meet and also elsewhere.Without referring to the Gujarat chiefminister by name, Bhagwat said, “Peopleknow what is in your heart. The wholecountry is echoing with the same voice.”And that is why we should not interferein what should be done. They (BJP) willhave to take a decision on what is to bedone….. Whatever we may say, those whoshould do it, it is their right.

We shouldallow them to do it. If what they do comesout wrong, then we should let them eat thefruits as well.”Bhagwat was speaking after some santsspoke out in favour of BJP announcingModi as its prime ministerial candidate inthe last elections.At the same time, BJP chief RajnathSingh, in Chennai, parried questions on theissue, maintaining that the BJPParliamentary Board will decide the issueat an appropriate time.Earlier, when asked by reporters what hethought of Modi, Bhagwat said, “He is myfriend”.A section of BJP leaders have demandedthat Modi be declared as the party’s PrimeMinisterial candidate.

VHP leader GirirajKishore also joined the Modi-for PM chorussaying like Gujarat the whole country canbenefit from his leadership as there hasbeen tremendous development in the stateunder his rule.The meeting on Thursday saw somepeople in the audience raising slogans insupport of Modi as religious leaders gavetheir speeches. Bhagwat and VHP leadersAshok Singhal and Parveen Togadia tried topacify them with the RSS chief saying thatthe Sangh Parivar was “well aware of thepeople’s wishes”.

Togadia and Singhal requested that the’dharma sansad’ be allowed to remainfocused on its agenda.Raising the Ayodhya issue in his address,Bhagwat said that the RSS was fullycommitted to construction of Ram Templeat Ramjanmbhoomi.”It is the obligation of Parliament toremove hurdles in the way of constructionof Ram temple. Either Parliament shouldhonour the wishes of the people or thepeople should elect a Parliament that issensitive to the issue,” the RSS chief said.

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