New Delhi: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh to discuss plans for the 2014 general election.
Analysts view this both as part of Modi’s agenda to be the party’s prime ministerial candidate and Singh’s bid to mend differences with the BJP leader who won a third consecutive term in Gujarat last year.
“There was a discussion of 2014,” Modi said after the meeting that lasted nearly two hours.
“I had come to congratulate him and ask him what I should do. How should I work ahead. What suggestions he has in relation to the state government. I sought and got his guidance in that respect.”
Singh, who took charge as the BJP’s president for a second time on Wednesday, has been evading questions on the potential prime ministerial candidate. He didn’t comment on this on Sunday either. In his first tenure from 31 December 2005 till December 2009, Singh had dropped Modi from the BJP’s parliamentary board as he was the only chief minister on it.
“Singh is trying to mend past differences with Modi learning from his past mistakes, when there were allegations of fractionalism in the party,” said Jai Mrug, a Mumbai-based political analyst. “On the other hand, Modi was pushing himself as the party’s prime ministerial candidate by informing the new president of his ambition.”
Mrug saw this as a “positive development for the party as there are no cold vibes”.
BJP’s former president Nitin Gadkari had to step down following allegations of impropriety and tax evasion against him. Modi had fallen out with Gadkari on the matter of his bete noir Sanjay Joshi, a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the progenitor of the BJP, and was said to have canvassed against the former president.
PTI contributed to this story.