In Delhi, Modi moves ahead with one-on-one meetings

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New Delhi, May 21:  Ahead of the BJP’s Parliamentary Board meeting, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday kept himself busy by having one-on-one meetings with the party’s brass.

The Board meeting was called to take stock of the political situation and discuss preparations for the year-end Assembly elections in five States and 2014 Lok Sabha election. It deliberated on broad contours of political and other resolutions that will be commended to the party’s National Executive, which is slated to meet in Goa on June 8 and 9.

Even before the 12-member Board could meet, Mr. Modi succeeded in diverting the media’s attention on him as he hopped from the residence of one senior leader to another, ostensibly for informal interactions.

Mr. Modi, who intends to play a ‘larger role’ at the national level, has been working behind the scenes in the last few weeks to position his favourites in crucial posts in the revamped organisation. This became evident when party president Rajnath Singh put Mr. Modi’s confidant, Amit Shah, at the helm in Uttar Pradesh.

“In Delhi today. Had a wonderful meeting with Advaniji on arrival at Delhi. Now heading to meet Nitin Gadkariji,” Mr. Modi tweeted after his 40-minute meeting with Mr. Advani. This meeting is interesting as Mr. Advani has not yet given up his desire to lead the party in the next general election.

The Parliamentary Board session came a day before the UPA’s ninth anniversary fete, which will be keenly observed to see which leaders from non-UPA parties share the platform with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders.

Nationwide agitation

After the Board meeting, BJP leader Ananth Kumar told reporters that the party would launch an aggressive campaign to highlight the scams and “failures” of the government during nationwide programmes that would be held next week. “We discussed the nine years of UPA rule. This government has failed on all fronts, be it price rise, internal and external security or the economic situation.

The BJP will launch a jail bharo [court arrest] programme from May 27 to June 2,” he said.

At the Board meeting, Mr. Modi suggested that the spread and reach of social media and social network should be used to reach out to people, especially youth.

The visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was also discussed and the Board expressed concern at China’s incursions in Ladakh.

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