Days after Sushma`s remark, BJP lauds Modi

Seeking to downplay senior leader Sushma Swaraj`s comments that Narendra Modi`s magic may not work everywhere, BJP on Wednesday said the Gujarat Chief Minister is a national-level leader.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 23:30 PM IST

New Delhi: Seeking to downplay senior
leader Sushma Swaraj`s comments that Narendra Modi`s magic may
not work everywhere, BJP on Wednesday said the Gujarat Chief Minister
is a national-level leader and credited him for it`s victory
in local body polls in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

"There was a wave (in favour of BJP) in Dadra and Nagar
Haveli local body elections which started from Gujarat due to
Narendra Bhai and had an influence on the polls," BJP
vice-president Najma Heptullah told reporters.
Heptullah, who is in-charge of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
gave credit to Modi and the development work he had done in
Gujarat.

Modi, who is considered a Hindutva hardliner, was
praised by Heptullah for fighting against those indulging in
communal and votebank politics.

She maintained that Dadra and Nagar Haveli- which is
governed by the Centre as it is a union territory- was
impressed with the prosperity under Modi in neighbouring
Gujarat.

"There is a lot of poverty in Dadra and Nagar Haveli,"
Heptullah said, claiming this will change in the near future
with both MPs from the region being from her party.

She said since Dadra and Nagar Haveli are located very
close to Gujarat, the influence of the state and its growth
story is high on the locals.

Asked if this indicated that Modi was emerging as a
national-level leader and would play a significant role at the
Centre soon, party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said,
"Modi is a national-level leader."

This statement comes soon after Leader of Opposition in
Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had said during the on-going Bihar
poll campaign that Modi`s magic may not work everywhere.
Many in the top rung of the party are said to be unhappy
with this "uncalled for" statement from Swaraj.

"Nobody would agree with Swaraj on this issue,
especially at a time when he has led the party to a sweeping
victory in the local body elections in Gujarat," a senior
leader said.

PTI