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BJP downplays India Inc's vote for Modi as PM

A Delhi Correspondent | January 15, 2009 18:19 IST

"The prime minister doesn't get elected in an investors' conference." This was the terse official reaction of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday to the top industrialists viewing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] as the prospective prime minister.

All the same, party spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy recognised appreciation of Modi by the industrialists gathered in Ahmedabad [Images] for the global investors' meet, pointing out that they would have reacted similarly to any of the BJP chief ministers conducting such conclaves.

The BJP leadership apparently chose to take the stand and shut any talk of Modi as the prime minister lest he overshadows Lal Krishna Advani [Images] already declared as the prime ministerial candidate.

It, however, took 24 hours to firm up the stand as neither Advani nor BJP President Rajnath Singh were prepared to make any immediate comment on Wednesday when approached by journalists at a Makar Sakranti function at the party headquarters in New Delhi [Images].

The message is loud and clear: There is no race in BJP for the prime ministership since after the party decided to go to the polls under Advani's leadership.

"Our chief ministers get political guidance and inspirations from the BJP's national leadership for performance that cannot be denied by anybody," Rudy told media persons.

He said the industrialists' reaction only underlines their confidence in the BJP to rule, be it at national level or in the states. It only conveys that be the industrialists or any other people are eagerly awaiting the BJP's return to power by winning the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, he affirmed.

When told that more or less the same set of captains of the industry had also met Advani a few days ago but they did not talk of him as the future prime minister as they did for Modi, Rudy shot back that they had met Advani to discuss the economic meltdown and Dr Manmohan Singh's [Images] role and not to back him as the prime minister.

At the same time, he lashed out at the Congress spokesman on Wednesday dubbing the industrialists praising Modi as "fascists" and comparing them with the German businessmen who had put full faith in Hitler [Images].

As regards the Congress spokesman challenging the figures of response Modi got for setting up industries in Gujarat, Rudy said anybody would go by the figures of the industrialists than accepting such criticism.

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