Modi can be a good PM: Gadkari

via India Today published on March 12, 2010

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has tremendous potential to be a good prime minister, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has said.

Modi has the ability, capacity and potential to lead the country, Gadkari told Headlines Today in an exclusive interaction on the sidelines of the 9th India Today Conclave in Delhi on Friday.

Gadkari’s thumping endorsement of the controversial Gujarat chief minister provides a snapshot of how the BJP might play its cards in the next general elections.

Modi’s name has earlier been endorsed for the country’s highest executive position by prominent industrialists and BJP leaders, but this is the first time that such an unequivocal note of support has come from a BJP president.

“Modi is a role model for development politics. Look at what he has done for Gujarat. A decision on the party’s prime ministerial candidate will be taken by senior leaders and the parliamentary body, but Modi is fully competent,” Gadkari said.

His remarks came a day after the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team summoned Modi for questioning in the Gulbarga massacre case of the Gujarat riots.

“We will cooperate with the judiciary, but we will back Modi one hundred per cent. The events were unfortunate, but the blame cannot be focused on Modi. The UPA simply wants to shoot Modi politically by using the CBI,” said Gadkari.

Asked if an apology was in order for the Gujarat riots, Gadkari said: “There is no question of an apology. When a mistake is made, an apology is given. The chief minister of Gujarat made no mistake. The way the government is working against Modi is painful for democracy. It is a vindictive approach.”

Admitting that his job as the new chief of the BJP consisted of altering the party’s “tragedy of image versus reality”, Gadkari said, “I don’t want to make a natak and tamasha of politics. Rahul Gandhi going to a Dalit’s home does not solve the real problem. For me, visiting a Dalit’s home cannot be about political strategy but about my convictions. As president, it is my intention to encourage real socio-economic change in rural areas, not mere tokenism for the media.”

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