Modi takes centre stage as BJP rolls out 2014 roadmap
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, seen by many in the BJP as their best bet for a prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections, today took centre stage at the party national council meet after BJP president Rajnath Singh showered him with praise for winning three consecutive assembly polls and implementing a development model that "all countries are talking about".
With the party raising the poll cry of Sushasan Sankalp, BJP Vikalp, the rank and file were told that the national council was a "war council" because the 2014 elections will be a "battle". They were assigned a "400-day roadmap" for the remaining days. Rajnath Singh even asked council members to "volunteer" and "work for the remaining one year as whole-timer" without asking for tickets or posts in return.
But it was Singh's praise for Modi that created a buzz. "It is not proper for me to welcome Narendra Modi by just using words. I will request all of you to give him a standing ovation for at least a minute." The party top brass, comprising Central leaders and chief ministers seated on the dais, rose and and clapped for Modi.
Deviating from the text of the presidential address, Singh went on: "Words alone will not suffice. I would like to garland him as well." All around, delegates chanted Desh ka neta kaisa ho, Narendra Modi jaisa ho.
"We have never managed to win three consecutive elections under the leadership of one person. Narendra Modi has achieved a hat-trick. It is an exhilarating achievement for all of us. All countries are talking about Modi's development model, be it the US or EU," Singh said. He described L K Advani as the party "guide" during difficult situations, the one who, along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was responsible for the heights the BJP achieved.
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