Even as BJP leaders have suspended their chorus for Narendra Modi as PM candidate after party president Rajnath Singh’s appeal for patience over the issue, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has backed the Gujarat Chief Minister’s projection as BJP’s candidate for the country’s top job.
“If people themselves are demanding that Modi should be made the PM candidate then the BJP will also have to think about it. Such a thing is happening for the first time. After all, the BJP president himself has said Modi at present is their most popular leader,” VHP patron Ashok Singhal said.
In Bhopal, the BJP president described Modi as the most popular leader, but skirted the issue of projecting him as the PM candidate. Addressing a press conference, his first in the Madhya Pradesh capital after becoming the party chief, Singh said the central parliamentary board will make the announcement about PM candidate at an appropriate time.
However, sources within the VHP on Sunday made it clear that Modi has not been invited either for the meeting of the VHP’s Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal on February 6 or for the Dharm Sansad on February 7 at Kumbh in Allahabad.
“Except from officials and the saints and seers, no one gets invite for this meeting,” said a VHP source, indicating that no formal invitation has been extended to Modi for these two crucial meetings where the VHP is likely to renew its call for a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
But VHP leaders conceded that Kumbh, by its nature, is open for anybody to attend and they were yet not aware whether Modi will be going to Allahabad. While officials of the Gujarat government confided that they were not yet informed about Modi’s visit to Kumbh, BJP leaders in Delhi expected him to visit Kumbh to send a message of his Hindutva commitment and seek the blessing for his larger national role from the seers present there.
Rajnath Singh has confirmed his plan to attend Kumbh on February 6 and is also likely to seek the blessings of leaders gathered for VHP’s meetings there.
While Singhal appeared backing Modi’s case, senior VHP leaders sought to play it down saying the “Parishad does not support any one person or one political party...it believes that whoever will espouse its cause, the people will support that person or party”.
VHP’s dispositions towards different contenders for the PM candidature within the BJP holds significance in wake