The tussle for Narendra Modi becoming the campaign committee head of the party has party leaders divided on the issue.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda, who is close to party president Rajnath Singh, has come out in support of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to lead the BJP election campaign committee on the eve of the national executive meet to be held in Goa this weekend.
The national executive body will not announce the prime ministerial candidate at this meet but Modi has been projecting himself to lead another key committee, the election campaign committee, which is likely to be announced at this meeting.
“The time has come to accept that the most popular leader in the country is Modi and he should lead at this time,” Munda told TEHELKA, from Mumbai, en route to the national executive meet.
Party veteran LK Advani has reportedly said that Modi could be made the leader of the campaign committee if former BJP national president Nitin Gadkari leads the campaign committee for the upcoming elections in several states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. MP and Chhattisgarh are BJP-ruled states, while the BJP expects to make a major impact in New Delhi. Advani also recently said that Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan is “prime minister material” while the party cadres have been vying for Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.
Munda’s statement is an indication of who Singh is considering for the post of leader of the election campaign committee despite opposition from Advani, both of whom are in the BJP’s parliamentary board, the top decision-making body in the BJP.
Another person who opposes Modi as the leader of the campaign committee is former finance minister Yashwant Sinha and Hazaribagh (BJP) MP of Jharkhand, who also said that the parliamentary board would decide the question of leadership of the campaign committee.
Munda is known to be close to the BJP chief and it is not surprising that he has come out in support of Modi. Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Parimal Nathwani, is also close to Narendra Modi.
Munda had to resign as Jharkhand CM after his coalition government lost support of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in January this year.
This was the third time he was CM of the mineral-rich state that was split from erstwhile Bihar while the BJP-led NDA was in power at the centre. He has also served as the party’s national general secretary before he became CM in September 2010.