Narendra Modi set to head BJP's poll panel

Narendra Modi

While not getting into the issue of prime ministership, the BJP is set to make Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi the head of its 2014 campaign committee.

Modi's role in the forefront, which will supplement a "positive agenda" for governance that the party is drawing up to project before the electorate, is learnt to have the consent of the RSS as well.

The move, in line with the realisation that Modi had emerged as the party's "most popular leader", is expected to be firmed up in due course as the party prepares for its National Executive and National Council meetings in early March.

According to sources, the decision to make the Gujarat CM the head of the campaign panel had been taken a while back and the change from Nitin Gadkari to Rajnath Singh had not altered that.

Rajnath Singh is also in the process of forming groups which will draw up a more constructive agenda for the BJP to project ahead of the coming state elections. The party aims to talk of specific actions it will take in key areas such as economy, particularly improving industrial growth, governance and transparency, and internal and external security.

Sources said this also indicates that the BJP is looking to organise a long-term campaign towards polls in 2014 rather than just backing destabilising moves to bring down the government.

Following the party's presidential elections, the BJP has held several brainstorming sessions where it was felt that while it had run some very effective campaigns on issues like corruption, these were still in the category of "negative" campaigns and needed to be complimented with a larger campaign on what the party offered as an alternative.

Modi, for his part, has always projected himself as a different sort of leader who brings to the table a governance model rather than just dwelling on the failings of the UPA. During a BJP CMs' conclave last August, he had suggested that the party highlight a positive agenda against the follies of the Congress.

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