BJP meet begins in Goa; NaMo chant overshadows Advani’s absence
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/Panaji: Despite the absence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran LK Advani, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s National Executive meet entered second day on Saturday.
The meet, which began at 11 am, will evolve a strategy for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and possibly discuss its prime ministerial candidate.
The other items on the agenda on Saturday are several resolutions ranging from issues related to national pride and security, among others, which will be passed by the members.
It will also pass resolutions on the manner in which corruption and malgovernance were eating into the national polity and how constitutional bodies were being tampered with to protect corrupt leaders in power.
At the three-day conclave in Goa, which got underway on Friday, the absence of the leaders was made up by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose arrival in Goa resulted in a section of the BJP leadership playing cheerleaders for him.
Modi, as he entered the meeting venue at the Marriott Hotel here on Friday, was welcomed by loud cheers and slogans, a reaction that was not witnessed at the arrival of any other party leader. Party workers present at the venue shouted slogans hailing Modi.
A string of party leaders like LK Advani, Varun Gandhi, Jaswant Singh, Shatrughan Sinha and Uma Bharati expressed their inability to attend the meet, some citing ill-health.
The non-arrival of key leaders did not appear to dampen the spirits of the BJP, especially after the arrival of Modi at Goa`s Dabolim airport.
Insiders in the BJP camp have tipped Modi to be appointed the head of the party`s campaign committee. A decision on this, which was likely to be taken on Friday, has now been deferred and can be taken on Sunday.
While BJP leaders have been showering praise on Modi and his potential to lead the party on the national stage, others have lashed out at their over-enthusiasm.
"We don`t need Modi. There is no need to outsource leaders in Bihar. (Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar is charismatic, popular and capable of handling everything," Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar told reporters in Patna, after BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy claimed that JD-U cadres felt that Modi`s charisma was needed to improve the its poll prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.
In New Delhi, Congress leader Rashid Alvi also took at dig at the BJP`s Modi mania.
"If BJP leaders are falling ill because of Narendra Modi, then the BJP must think what impact would he have on the nation. My full sympathies with those BJP leaders who aren`t well," he taunted.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that Modi was all about hype.
"Experience shows that whenever a lot of hot air is created about something, that balloon always bursts," Pawar said.
(With IANS inputs)
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