New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could be a major talking point during the Congress Chintan Baithak at Jaipur in the wake of his electoral hat-trick that has seen growing speculation about his likely projection as BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate.
This is the feeling among Congress leaders who insist that Modi factor is bound to come up for debate at the conclave called to decide the strategy for the Lok Sabha polls just 16 months away.
While BJP has not made any announcement about the future role of Modi, Congress leaders feel that there is no denying the fact that the Gujarat strongman would be the star campaigner of the opposition party and would occupy the centrestage.
Congress leaders are divided over the electoral outcome if Modi is projected the PM candidate by the BJP with one section feeling that such a move would consolidate the minorities behind the party.
Another section feels besides his Hindutva, Modi is also known for his penchant for development and administrative skills and his strategy to reach out to the people and Congress could ill afford to ignore the opposition challenge.
Congress has lost its sixth Assembly elections in Gujarat in a row.
Gujarat is the latest addition to a list of states where the party has not been in power for about two decades or more and the issue is expected to dominate at the party’s brainstorming session, party leaders say.
The Congress lost power in Gujarat in 1995, in Uttar Pradesh in 1989, in Bihar in 1990, and in Tripura in 1993. It has been out of power in West Bengal for more than three decades barring the brief stint as the TMC’s junior ally. In Tamil Nadu, it has not come to power on its own for well over four decades.