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This article was first published 12 years ago

Will BJP and Gadkari thwart Modi's bid for PM post?

Last updated on: October 8, 2011 22:56 IST

Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's reported ambition of becoming the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014 may remain unfulfilled.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's top leaders have strongly disapproved of his no-show at the BJP national executive held in Delhi last weekend and are determined to teach him a lesson, say sources.

Modi has challenged the organisation with this act, feel RSS leaders, and that is not acceptable for the Sangh Parivar.

Reportage: A correspondent in Delhi

Will BJP and Gadkari thwart Modi's bid for PM post?

Image: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari

Modi may not be even appointed as the BJP president once Nitin Gadkari finishes his term at the end of 2012.

Efforts are on in the BJP, reportedly at the behest of the RSS, to amend the party's constitution to extend the party president's tenure from three to five years to enable Gadkari to continue in the post till the general elections.

According to sources, this strategy will leave no opportunity for Modi to head the party and then claim to lead it in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Will BJP and Gadkari thwart Modi's bid for PM post?

The RSS leadership may be grooming Gadkari to be the party's prime ministerial candidate to end the race for the top post among BJP leaders like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu.

Though Gadkari is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from his home turf Nagpur, insiders say he may be asked to continue leading the party and campaig across the country instead of being confined to one constituency, as he can be later elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Will BJP and Gadkari thwart Modi's bid for PM post?

Image: Uma Bharti

According to BJP sources, the party and RSS want to send a strong message to Modi for refusing to attend the national executive.

They are also upset about his decision to go on a much-hyped three-day fast and then organise a massive rally in Ahmedabad to project himself as the Hindutva icon ready to take over the party.

Nobody is bigger than the party, said the sources, pointing out that anyone trying to outshine the BJP has been shown the door, be it then Jan Sangh president Balraj Madhok or mass leaders like former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh or former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti.

Efforts to project Gadkari, not Modi, as the face of the BJP was evident in Delhi on Saturday when a compilation of his speeches, titled Vikas ke Path (Road to development), was released with party patriarch L K Advani and RSS stalwart Suresh Soni in attendance.