BJP unleashes Modi
Desperate attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh all through the day to get party veteran LK Advani on board proved futile as the former deputy prime minister refused to attend the parliamentary board meeting called to nominate Modi and instead wrote a letter expressing angst at the way Singh was steamrolling all opposition to Modi’s anointment.
‘This afternoon when you had come to my residence to inform me about the parliamentary board meeting, I had said something about my anguish as also my disappointment over your style of functioning. I had told you that I will think whether I should share my thoughts with other board members or not. Now I have decided that it is better that I do not attend today’s meeting,’ said Advani in his letter addressed to Rajanth Singh.
Advani’s decision to skip the meeting was taken at the last minute as he had initially appeared willing to attend the meeting and had even sat in his car, before changing his mind. All through the day, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Ananth Kumar held meetings with Advani to persuade him to attend the parliamentary board meeting.
Advani camp followers Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi, however, attended the meeting and gave their approval to Modi’s name, but not before expressing their reservations and apprehensions.
Soon after the announcement of his name, Modi rushed to Advani’s residence to seek his blessings. The Gujarat chief minister then went to meet the ailing former prime minster Atal Bihar Vajpayee.
During his acceptance speech at the 9, Ashoka Road headquarters, the tone of which was much humbler than his usual tenor, Modi said, ‘BJP has given me the opportunity to serve the nation. The party has given to an ordinary person like me a very important responsibility. BJP will fight for good governance and development and I will make all efforts for our victory in 2014.’
The prime ministerial candidate, during his brief speech, said the country was passing through a crisis and people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari will vote for the lotus symbol.