Amid talks within BJP over prime ministerial candidate, party leader
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called Narendra Modi a "towering symbol of
nationalism" having country-wide appeal, but said there were a number of
"capable leaders" and decision will be taken at appropriate time.
"Narendra Modi has definitely emerged, over the years, as a towering
symbol of nationalism with proven record of providing good governance and
tackling terrorism and lawlessness," Naqvi told reporters.
"Although he is the chief minister of Gujarat, his popularity has been
gradually growing outside the state and it would not be wrong to say that
he has gained a country-wide appeal," he said.
The BJP leader, however, hastened to add, "We, in the BJP, are proud of
the fact that we have a number of capable leaders who have the skill to
face any type of challenge. A formal decision (with regard to projecting a
prime ministerial candidate) will be taken at an appropriate time," he
is not a party in which leaders are chosen on the basis of the family they
are born in. It is a party wherein all start off as dedicated workers and
rise through the ranks through sheer hard work," Naqvi said in an apparent
reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Naqvi said the UPA government
at the Centre seems to derive "sadistic pleasure" whenever the people of
the country suffer on account of a fresh spurt in prices.
When asked about his visit here, the BJP leader said he had come to take a
holy dip in the Sangam at the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation. "I will
also offer prayer with the wish that the people of the country get rid of
a corrupt and insensitive government."