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Focus on BJP's return to power, not PM candidate: Modi

July 16, 2013 21:45 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked partymen to focus on Bharatiya Janata Party's return to power at the Centre instead of projecting anyone including him as the prime ministerial candidate.

"Who will lead the party after elections is not important for us at this stage. Now our priority should be to ensure return of BJP to power," party's election campaign committee chairman Modi told a selected gathering of Odisha unit leaders at a hotel in Puri on Tuesday.

"Please work hard to defeat the Congress and do not indulge in such things (projecting the PM candidate)," Modi said responding to a proposal by Odisha party leaders that he be the party's prime ministerial candidate.

The BJP strongman suggested that the state leadership prepare chargesheets against the Congress and the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha.
"Ensure that the charges against rival parties reach the people living in villages," he said. He said at least 10,000 mobile phones of each assembly segments should be regularly fed with BJP's ideologies and "inefficiencies' of the Congress.

Modi asked the partymen to develop public relations with people living in villages and use social media like Facebook and Twitter. "We are passing through the age of technology. People in villages also now use mobiles and other means of communications," he said.

Asking the state leadership to identify leaders from different castes and give them positions in the party, Modi said, "Caste leaders hold votes which are required for any party for elections. If necessary, give up your positions to accommodate caste leaders."

Stating that the Congress was gradually being disliked by people across the country for its "failure" to control situations like price rise, Modi said people in villages needed to be sensitised about the "misdeeds" of the United Progressive Alliance government. He asked partymen to hold street corner meetings and rallies to highlight the misrule of the Congress.

Though Modi asked party leaders to prepare a chargesheet against the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD in the state, his target was obviously the Congress. "The next elections will be fought between the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA," he said.

Describing his Gujarat experience, Modi asked the Odisha leadership not to lose confidence and work to install a BJP government in the state. "The BJP had only 16 MLAs in the Gujarat assembly in 1990 and no one in panchayat or urban local bodies. See the difference today. The BJP has been ruling the state and will continue to do so in future," Modi said.

On Odisha, he said, "People here hate the Congress and therefore a non-Congress government has been ruling the state. The BJP should take advantage of the situation and emerge as the peoples' party." He, however, told the state leaders that they could not win elections unless they won the hearts of the people.

"Holding rallies, agitations and meetings will not give you desired results. You have to take up local issues and fight for community problems," he said.

Modi suggested that the state leadership concentrate on mobilising people soon as the Odisha's urban local body elections were not far away. The BJP heavyweight stressed the need for legal action against all political leaders involved in corruption in the state and at the Centre and to create awareness against the corrupt politicians.

State BJP president K V Singhdeo reaffirmed that the party would go to polls alone without forging alliance with any other party. Earlier, looking to woo the people of Odisha, Modi invoked the blessings of Lord Jagannath here while lauding the contribution of Odiya people for the economic development of Gujarat.

Image: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi waves to his supports in Puri


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