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Live: Modi is BJP's poll campaign chief, Rajnath says this is the road to victory

Live: Modi is BJP's poll campaign chief, Rajnath says this is the road to victory

BJP President Rajnath Singh said that the whole party has trust in Narendra Modi and has full confidence that BJP will come to power in 2014.

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  • Last Updated: June 9, 2013, 7:56 AM IST
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Panaji: 2:04 pm: Rajnath Singh addresses media, says the upcoming 2014 elections are a challenge for the BJP. "We have decided Narendra Modi as chairman central campaign committee. This is an unanimous decision. We have full confidence that BJP will come to power in 2014," says Rajnath.

2:02 pm: BJP President Rajnath Singh says, "We have decided to make Narendra Modi as Chairman of Central Election Committee. The whole party has trust in him."

2:00 pm: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh congratulates Narendra Modi on his elevation as Central election campaign committee. "My heartiest congratulations to Narendra Modi. I have tweeted what I felt about Mr Advani. Whether he has to be the PM candidate or not has to be decided by the BJP. I have already said comparisons between Rahul and Modi are of no use."

1:56 pm: BJP President Rajnath Singh has appointed Narendra Modi as the Chairman of central election committee.

1:43 pm: BJP President Rajnath Singh's to address media shortly.

1:22 pm: BJP will hold nationwide protests against the UPA government from June 17 to June 22: PTI.

1:15 pm: BJP leader Jay Narayan Vyas says, "There is unity in the BJP and I am sure there will be a unanimous decision, which will be good for the country."

1:00 pm: JD(U) leader Devesh Chandra Thakur says, "We don't want to comment on it and it doesn't matter to JD(U). Whatever BJP decides in National Executive, it is their internal party matter."

12:40 pm: While speaking at the BJP National Executive meeting Narendra Modi says, "Statue of Sardar Patel should be bigger than Statue of Liberty."

12:27 pm: Narendra Modi while speaking at BJP's National Executive meeting says we need an India free from Congress rule. "Congress free country is not politics rather a programme nationalism. People of country are angry of Congress rule," says Modi.

12:11 pm: BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain while addressing a press conference at National Executive meet says, "BJP has passed its political resolution in the National Executive. Corruption of UPA II was discussed in the National Executive. UPA has no reason to celebrate. BJP is the only hope for the country"

12:05 pm: BJP conference begins, announcement on Narendra Modi likely to me made soon.

11:02 am: BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain says, "The nation will get a good news. There will be a press conference at 12 noon."

10:45 am: Sources say Nitin Gadkari be appointed head of the manifesto committee for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, sources added that the announcement on Gadkari is not likely today.

10:45 am: Deal to elevate Narendra Modi was first clinched in a meeting between Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, added sources.

10:02 am: Sources say BJP president Rajnath Singh calls LK Advani to enquire his health.

9:18 am: Announcement on Narendra Modi expected around 1:30 pm on Sunday, say sources.

9:10 am: Senior BJP leader CP Thakur says Narendra Modi also believes in team work. "There will be some announcement on Modi today," added Thakur.

9:00 am: BJP President Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi are expected to meet party patriarch LK Advani in Delhi on Sunday or Monday.

8:50 am: Sources say BJP President Rajnath Singh is likely to announce Narendra Modi's elevation as election campaign panel chief.

8:05 am: Sources say senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi has insisted on how BJP should groom a team and not an individual to tackle the present challenges.

7:56 am: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi ups the ante at the BJP's National Executive meeting, demanding that he be announced as the PM candidate and not just Lok Sabha polls campaign panel head, say sources. Sources also say party president Rajnath Singh is struggling to reach a compromise.

Meanwhile, senior RSS leader Bhayyaji Joshi reached Delhi to convince BJP patriarch LK Advani. A sulking Advani skipped the national executive meet completely citing ill health as the reason.

Senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi has also warned Rajnath against making any announcement on Modi in Advani's absence. With Advani and some other senior leaders keeping away from the deliberations of its National Executive, the BJP is struggling to resolve its dilemma over Modi's role in the 2014 elections, an issue over which there appeared to be divisions within.

A last ditch attempt is being made within the BJP to persuade Advani, who skipped the party's National Executive meeting in Goa completely. The ball now seems to be in party president Rajnath Singh's court.

Advani's absence as also that of Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Uma Bharati and Shatrughan Sinha over shadowed its 400-member strong National Executive which formally discussed economic, foreign and other issues including the Maoists problem.

Meanwhile, Rajnath put a brave face on the situation by saying 85-year-old Advani had been told by him to stay back in Delhi because of ill health. On Saturday, the party had indicated that he may fly to Goa but it became clear that he will skip the Goa conclave which concludes on Sunday.

Given the divisions, it was far from clear whether Modi would be anointed the Chairman of the 2014 election campaign committee at this conclave for which there is clamour from his supporters and the rank and file. Even as party Vice President Muktar Abbas Naqvi promised a "major announcement" on Sunday, Rajnath was said to be working through back channels to find a way out.

Various formulae were up in the air including one under which Modi may be made Convener rather than Chairman of the campaign committee and another committee may be set up for the management of election, something the Advani camp has reportedly been pressing for. Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar counselled the media to wait for the concluding day on Sunday when the party leaders would go back to the states "with new energy, new confidence and new enthusiasm".

At the same time, he said in BJP major decisions are not taken without consensus at the top level that perhaps indicates that a decision on Modi's role may be put off. Yashwant Sinha on Saturday said he had chosen to stay away from the party's National Executive meeting in Goa not because of 'NaMonia', an oblique reference to aversion to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. "I don't have 'NaMonia'. I am in perfect health. But there could be other reasons for not going to Goa because of which I have not gone there," Sinha said.

Advani had suggested the formation of two campaign committees, one for the upcoming assembly elections in five states this year-end, led by Modi, and another for the 2014 general elections. When asked if any key decision on Modi was taken on the first day of the National Executive meeting, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman replied,"Narendra Modi is a member of BJP Parliamentary Board. If party wants to give Modi any other role, it will be announced to the media."

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