Modi to head BJP's poll panel, announces tallest statue of Sardar Patel

Narendra ModiGujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Rajnath Singh. (PTI photo)

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be the head of BJP's 2014 election campaign committee, announceed party president Rajnath Singh at the National Executive being held in Goa.

The Indian Express had first reported in February 2013 that Modi will head BJP's 2014 election campaign.

Singh made the announcement at the end of the two-day executive meeting.

"I have declared Narendra Modi Chairman of the BJP election campaign committee," Rajnath said.

"Whatever was done was done on the basis of consensus. Every party sees election as a challenge and BJP takes the 2014 polls as a challenge with a pledge to be victorious," he added.

Soon after he was made the poll panel chief, Narendra Modi announced before colleagues and workers that he would build the tallest statue of lauho purush Sardar Ballavbhai Patel in his state, somewhere along the Narmada river.

Modi said that the iron to build this statue would be collected from villages across the country. This could be an attempt to leverage Patel's credibility as an alternative to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty of the ruling Congress.

Modi's decision to collect iron from the country's villages is also an attempt to mobilise people from the artisan and backward classes. Incidentally, Modi himself comes fron an extremely backward community.

The announcement was made in a terse statement by Singh who was flanked by Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, former President M Venkaiah Naidu, General Secretary Ananth Kumar among others. No questions were taken at the media interaction.

"Whatever has happened has happened on the basis of consensus," Singh said without elaborating.

The decision to appoint 63-year-old Modi came against the backdrop of Advani, who is said to be strongly opposed to the elevation of Modi, keeping away from the meeting.

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