Modi wins backing of key BJP leader to run for India PM office

Published: January 28, 2013
Modi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Gujarat, is widely seen as pushing to be his party's candidate.PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Modi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Gujarat, is widely seen as pushing to be his party's candidate.PHOTO: AFP/FILE

NEW DELHI: Hardline Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi on Monday won crucial backing to run for Indian prime minister’s office, boosting his campaign to lead the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party into elections in 2014.

Modi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from the state of Gujarat which was tarnished by religious riots on his watch in 2002, is widely seen as pushing to be his party’s candidate.

Yashwant Sinha, who held the finance and foreign portfolios during the BJP’s national five-year rule until 2004, gave his vote of approval a day after Modi met the party’s newly-elected president Rajnath Singh behind closed doors.

“Wherever I have visited, ordinary people as well as party workers have expressed the demand that the BJP should put up Modi as its prime ministerial candidate,” Sinha told reporters.

“I too have come to the conclusion that if the BJP makes Modi its official candidate for the post, then the party will greatly benefit,” he said.

The BJP – the main opposition party in parliament – is scouting around for a vote-winning candidate to take on the ruling Congress party, which has been weakened by slowing economic growth and corruption scandals.

Sinha’s comments came just days after a poll suggested Congress’s likely prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi was less popular than Modi.

Gandhi, the scion of the Gandhi political dynasty, is widely expected to lead Congress into the polls after being elevated to the post of party vice-president earlier this month.

Modi came to power in 2001 in Gujarat. The following year, the western Indian state was rocked by some of India’s worst religious riots since independence in 1947.

Some 2,000 people were killed in clashes between Hindus and Muslims, most of them Muslims.

One of Modi’s former ministers was jailed for life for instigating the killing, but all investigations have cleared Modi of personal responsibility.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Misery Ghalib
    Jan 28, 2013 - 10:52PM

    many similarities with rise of hitler before world war 2


  • Raj Kafir
    Jan 29, 2013 - 7:21AM

    Both India and Pakistan need hawkish Prime Ministers. Dr Manmohan Singh has lost respect in the eyes of many progressive Indians. Similarly many Pakistanis do not have sincere respect for their present Prime Minister Mr. Ashraf Raja.

    Mr Narinder Modi heads a most progressive province in India. He as a future Prime Minister will be better than other candidates both in Congress and in the Opposition. Pakistan also needs a strong headed Prime Minister. Can Mr. Imran Khan lead and deliver? Only time will tell.

    War will not solve the problems of over 1,050 million people of both the brotherly countries.

    Sheer fear of each other will result in peace. Let both India and Pakistan have hawkish Prime Ministers.


  • Soshallyoureap
    Jan 29, 2013 - 9:01AM

    I think people of India had compared Modi with Rahul, Sonia with Rajnath,Sibal with Jaitley, and finally their confusions has gone. So although late but I think, better sence is prevailing amoung them.


  • Jan 29, 2013 - 10:18AM

    Mr. Yashwant Sinha is just echoing the sentiments of an average Indian, which is crystal clear from the opinion polls conducted recently. Also I fully agree with Mr. Sinha in the context of JDU, no one can continue to be in alliance unless the partners have faith in each other. With suspicion in both side it is bound to collapse and in that case the sooner the better


  • sid
    Jan 30, 2013 - 7:21AM

    lol what a joke ! happens only in the worlds biggest democracy :P


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