NEW DELHI: In remarks that could create unease within a section of the party, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Sunday disputed that there was a Narendra Modi wave in the country and said the Gujarat model of development touted by the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate could not be applicable for all states.
“Modi is the representative of the party as the prime ministerial candidate. And whenever a dynamic person moves with the support of the party, he creates a very strong sympathy and support for him, because of his track record also. So its not a highly personalized thing, it is a representative wave. He gets support from different parts of the country, from different sections of society, and from all leaders of BJP. So, he represents the general mood and the desire for change. You may call it a Modi wave, there is no harm in it. But it is a sum total of what is happening inside the country, it represents that,” Joshi said in an interview to Manorama News.
Joshi was shifted to Kanpur to make way for Modi in Varanasi, ostensibly to maximize the BJP’s gains in Uttar Pradesh. His remarks came a day after Modi in a TV interview had said that Joshi would win in Kanpur by a record margin. However, the assurance seems to have failed to placate Joshi who, along with other members of the ‘old guard’, are seen to be still uneasy with Modi’s ascendancy.
The BJP veteran’s comment also flies in the face of Modi’s campaign pitch, amplified through radio spots, that every vote cast for the party would be a direct vote for him. In doing so, Modi has tried to paint the polls as a referendum on his leadership and is seen as urging voters to overlook local considerations and vote for him.
Joshi, who headed the BJP’s manifesto committee, also said that he did not favour a “straitjacket” model of one particular state as far as development was considered. He said he would rather like to take the good points of development from various states.
“In a country like India, what development model is true for Jammu and Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh may not be true for Kerala. So, some good points of Gujarat model will also be there, some good points from the government of Tripura will also be there, it is not some straitjacket model,” he said.
On Jaswant Singh, Joshi said the decision to deny party ticket to the senior leader was not taken by the central election committee, of which he is a member, but by the party president and Rajasthan chief minister.
Recalling the developments on the day the ticket was finalized, Joshi said, “One or two seats were left on that day. And the chief minister said they have to reconsider these two-three seats, in view of certain developments taking place in the constituency. And so (party) president was authorized to decide about those seats and as far as I remember, Sushamaji was present on that day.
“It’s true that the decision was taken by the president and chief minister, but not as a behind the back decision. It was almost certain that they will decide. Yes. But the fact that Jaswant Singh will not be given a ticket did not come for discussion on that day.”