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Modi number 1, Advani head of the family: Rajnath

Last updated on: July 05, 2013 19:58 IST

Modi number 1, Advani head of the family: Rajnath

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Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh has reiterated no senior party leader had been sidelined to favour Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In an interview with CNN-IBN, the BJP president said, ‘So far as popularity is concerned Modi is most popular leader, but L K Advani ji is our senior most leader.’

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

On Narendra Modi's role for next election

“We have made an election campaign committee and he has been appointed as the chairman of the campaign committee.”

“I don't want to comment on (Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar's statement but whenever there is an election, in our party a campaign committee or election management committee is used to be constituted. We have also made an election campaign committee this time. We have made Modi the chairman of the party because he is the most popular leader of the country. He is the number one popular leader of the country today.”

On declaring Modi as Prime Ministerial Candidate

“We have won elections in Gujarat thrice under his leadership. So considering that, he is the most appropriate person for the election management and election campaign. That’s why we have given him the responsibility of the election campaign committee.”

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Image: BJP President Rajnath Singh
Photographs: Courtesy BJP website

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'Our CM can't be involved in a fake encounter'

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“We have a system here, the projection or declaration of a prime ministerial candidate will be decided by our central parliamentary board. Be it the president or whosoever, nobody can take a decision unless our Parliamentary board decides on it.”

“Whatever we have to do, we will take a decision at our Central Parliamentary board meeting.”

On Ishrat Jahan case shadow on Modi

“This is a well planned conspiracy of the Congress party. The Congress is doing this to divert attention from all the failures in these nine years. The Congress party wants to start debate on secular and communal divide within country, so that the focus from all its failures will be diverted.”

“I will not believe this fact that any chief minister or senior leader of the party, who is committed to the ideology of the BJP, would ever indulge in violent activities. I can't even imagine that.”

“I believe it's a well planned conspiracy of the Congress party, but I've full faith on the court of this country. We should wait for the verdict of the court.”

“We have no fear. We are confident that there will be justice. We have full faith on our chief minister that, our chief minister can't be involved in a fake encounter. We will be doing our job, let the verdict of the court come out.”

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'How are you accepting that the encounter was fake?'

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On CBI role

“The government has been misusing the CBI. The Congress party is adept in misusing not only the CBI but also all the constitutional institutions of the country.”

On Amit Shah’s role in Ishrat Jahan case

“My personal view is that the Gujarat chief minister is being denigrated deliberately. There is an attempt to discredit the party in Gujarat. This was not the first encounter in the country. There were more than 3900 encounters in the country before 2002.There has been more than 800 encounters in a year in this country. In Delhi alone 25-28 encounters have been carried out.”

On Ishrat Jahan encounter“Why is the government not making it clear, Ishrat Jahan was associated with which terror group? Is it not true that Headley has stated before the NIA that Ishrat was a suicide bomber?”

“I admit that extra judicial killing should not be allowed for anybody. But how are you accepting that the encounter was fake? The investigation is on under the supervision of the court. Let the verdict come, we will see.”

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'Advaniji has never talked about dictatorship in the party'

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On Advani not attending National Executive

“Nobody should question the intention of a person like Advani ji. He has a great contribution in building this party. He has been participating in the all national executives so far. This time it was not possible because he was not keeping well.”

“He was not disappointed. When I was on my way to Goa, I had called him up and talked to his daughter, Pratibha. She told me the doctor had asked him not to travel but he was planning to go next day.”

“He had written the letter. In a family the head of the family has every right to discipline even an extraordinary child. He had done that.”
 
On Sudheendra Kulkarni's article in Rediff.com

“Kulkarni's article should not be seen as the reflection of Advanji's views. Kulkarniji does not represent Advaniji. In what context Advaniji has quoted Musolini and Hitler, that should be seen in right perspective. That should not be linked with party affairs. That’s a wrong interpretation.”

“Advaniji has never talked about dictatorship in the party. Kulkarni ji called me 'foxy'. But in a democracy everybody has a view point. That's an individual opinion, I welcome that.”

On allegations of diverting from ideology

“BJP is the only party in this country, which has not deviated from ideology or the philosophy ever since we began our journey since 1951. There is not even a minutest deviation.”

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'We have not sidelined any leader'

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On BJP becoming Modi centric

“BJP is the party which functions on its ideology and programmes. I'm the party president, but I take decisions only after consulting five or six senior colleagues in the party. There may a difference of opinion on any issue but once a decision is taken by the party President others also accept it.”

“We have not sidelined any leader. So far as popularity is concerned Modi is most popular leader but Advani ji is our senior most leader.”

On NDA partners

“It's true that JD-U has left us, but we don't a coalition crisis. There could be a pre-poll alliance with some political parties. I can't reveal the name of the parties, but we can’t rule out the possibilities of pre-poll alliance. It's a part of the strategy with which party to forge alliance, I can't reveal it now.”

“Nobody should have a problem because Modi has been made the chief of the election campaign committee.”

On Amit Shah being made in-charge of UP

“The polarisation charges are being also made against Modi. If anybody considers Shah, Hindutwavadi, let them do so. Even if you allege them of being Hindutwawadi, can any one say of Gujarat government making any discrimination on the basis of religion?”

“BJP never indulges in caste, creed, sect or religion based politics. We will take all the sections of the society together. Amit Shah has been looking after the election management in Gujarat. Where Amit Shah was election in-charge, we have won in that state thrice.”

“We will try to get maximum seats in UP. That's why we are planning to set up booth committees. Formation of booth committees is our first priority as a part of our election strategy. We are doing it for all the states.”

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'We will try to clear the Congress-created confusion with Muslims'

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On allegations of polarization

“The policy of British rule was divide and rule. After independence if any party has adopted that policy, it's the Congress party. Congress party has created a distance between the Hindus and Muslims only because of electoral benefits. The Congress party has ruled for more than 54 years in this country, could they have not established harmony between the Hindus and Muslims? but they did not do.”

“We will go to the Muslim areas, and will reach out to them directly. We will try to clear this confusion, which have been created by the Congress. We will not discriminate with anybody.”

On food Security Bill

“This is not Food Security Bill, this is vote security bill. This bill is being brought for political security. The Congress party had promised within 100 days we will pass the food security bill. But after nine years they are bringing in this.”

“We don't want to oppose this bill, but we want a debate on this Bill in the Parliament. We will allow this bill with some amendments. We want this bill to be passed with certain amendments.”

On strategy for 2014

“We will go to the people highlighting the failures of the UPA government. We will also go to the people with some positive issues like developments of different regions etc.”

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'Elections can't be won on the basis of social media campaigns'

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On Modi Shining

“Elections can't be won on the basis of social media campaigns. Unless you reach out directly to the people at the lowest pedestal of the society, you can't win elections. Social media is one of the platforms to connect with the people.”

“Other parties may be media driven but BJP is a not a media driven party.”

On being favoured by RSS

“It's a false campaign by the people who want to spread misleading news about the BJP. I'm the national president of the party. It will be my biggest success to install a BJP government in this country during my tenure.”

“I don't have any aspiration to become Prime Minister. I can't ever be Advani ji or Vajpayee ji. I can't even think about it.”

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