Vinay Katiyar nixes Modi’s national plans
New Delhi: In a clear indication of split in the Sangh Parivar over Narendra Modi’s projection as party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 polls, senior saffron leader Vinay Katiyar on Friday indicated that the Gujarat Chief Minister must first look at his own state before nurturing plans of pitching for the Prime Minister’s post.
Speaking to reporters, Katiyar, who is attending the party’s two-day BJP national executive meet here, said, “There are a lot of problems in Gujarat. Modi ji is doing good work, but he should first look at his own state and try to improve situation.”
Katiyar, the former national head of Bajrang Dal, said, “Let Modi resolve issues in Gujarat, then party will think about what needs to be done further.”
Both Katiyar and Modi are OBC leaders and Hindutva faces of the party.
Katiyar’s statement is yet another indication of growing opposition within the party to Narendra Modi’s national aspirations and his purported projection as BJP’s official candidate for the top job in 2014 polls.
However, a section of BJP leaders feel that the Gujarat Chief Minister will prove to be the party’s best.
"If he gets a chance, he will prove to be the best prime minister in the history of the country," Balbir Punj, who is the party leader and in-charge of party's affairs in Gujarat, told reporters on the sidelines of the BJP national executive meet when asked whether Modi has the capability of leading the nation.
To a poser who between Modi and L K Advani would become a better Prime Minister, Punj said, "I do not know this. I will not make any comparisons. That the people of the nation will decide."
Punj downplayed Modi's absence from the meet saying he was busy in Navratra Puja.
Interestingly, Modi has skipped the BJP’s national executive meet further triggering speculation of a rift between him and LK Advani, who recently shifted his proposed yatra against corruption from Gujarat to Bihar.