Panaji: The rising stock of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the BJP was visible soon after his anointment as head of the election campaign committee with other senior leaders and party workers showering him with adulation.
At a meeting of BJP workers from different parts of Goa, Modi was the main attraction. He was given a long standing ovation by a crowd of around 3,000 people.
Modi was specially felicitated in the presence of BJP President Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and state chief minister Manohar Parrikar, among others, with all of them readily playing second fiddle to him.
Rajnath Singh took the mike though the moderator had invited Modi to speak before him, saying "India is a democracy and in a democracy whoever is most popular is the leader."
Singh said he had felt an "unprecedented" happiness in having appointed Modi head of the campaign committee.
"What I have done is not for the party alone but for the nation. The demand of justice is that the most popular leader speaks last," Singh said.
The party president said that he did not have a moment`s hesitation in deciding that Modi should head the committee.
Arun Jaitley showered praise on Rajnath Singh for having taken the decision on Modi.
"He has given Indian polity a new turn. The mark of leadership is the ability to take decisions. Many a times it is very difficult to take decisions in politics," Jaitley said, adding that it is even more difficult in a party like the BJP which is democratic and structured.
"By giving the reins of the Election Campaign Committee to Modi, you have given shape to the feelings of lakhs of party workers and crores of people," Jaitley said.
Hailing Modi, Jaitley said his appointment was akin to the Primaries in the US in the run-up to choosing a Presidential candidate by a party.
"Now we can say that our election campaign has begun. As it is said, well begun is half done," Jaitley said.
The programme ended with BJP workers chanting slogans that the country`s leader should be like Modi.