Modi asked to build Team, than go solo

Instead of him alone holding political rallies in different parts of the country, BJP leaders want other seniors also to be involved in such rallies that may be kicked off this month in the Hindi heartland.

New Delhi :  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is under pressure from senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to constitute the central election campaign committee and not act as a solo player.

Modi asked to build Team, than go solo

The team with which he will have to work is likely to be finalised in a meeting convened by BJP President Rajnath Singh said on Thursday. The meeting may be preceded by the party’s central parliamentary board holding a meeting to approve the team, which will have poll management vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and general secretary Ramlal, a RSS nominee handling the organisational matters, as the key officials to assist Modi.

Other names being mentioned as part of Modi’s campaign team are his confidant and General Secretary Amit Shah, general secretaries Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao, Dharmendra Pradhan and J P Rudy, treasurer Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani and

Sidharth Nath Singh. Party sources said Modi has suggested names of his team as he wants to have those

already experienced in

campaigns.

Modi prefers not to constitute the campaign committee as he does not want to be

accused of imposing personal stamp in picking up the members as he has told the BJP president that he will be comfortable to work with all the general secretaries plus the members of the programme implementation and coordination committee. The BJP president has, however, insisted that he better have a small, cohesive team.

Political observers see in it the tussle within the party as Rajnath Singh fears that he would become redundant if Modi uses his position to overtake the party headquarters by start dictating all office-bearers.

Sources said Modi will also have some working groups under the committee to handle different issues like one concentrating on the social media to reach out to the smartphone users who are estimated to be around four crore who may exert influence in at least 200 urban Lok Sabha seats.

Though he held the first meeting with the party general secretaries and some other senior office-bearers last month for preliminary steps he wants the party’s headquarters to take, the meeting on Thursday is expected to get into the specifics of the campaign management for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting is likely to be attended by all general secretaries and a few other leaders to identify the issues that are likely to dominate in the campaigning for the Assembly elections to be held towards the year-end as that will also set the tone of the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls later, the party sources said. They said Modi will fine-tune the campaign strategy in the meeting to be attended also by the members of the programme implementation and coordination committee headed by Naqvi.

The campaign strategy drawn up by Modi in consultation with those attending the meeting will be referred to the parliamentary board for approval and it will be followed with announcement of a nationwide campaign, if possible from this month itself.

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