24 Jan :BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani has said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had the capabilities of becoming a prime minister and promised to implement the Gujarat model of development if NDA comes to power.
During an online chat session organised by Rediff with netizens, Advani was asked if BJP had other leaders who could don the mantle of Prime Minister."The BJP has many such leaders who have the capability of becoming Prime Minister and Narendra Modi is one of them. He agreed that there were many leaders in BJP who were very capable," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters, quoting Advani.
In a response to another question, Advani said, "Gujarat under the leadership of Modi has become a model for all others in the country as a corruption-free state. I believe this would be one of the principal objectives a new NDA government at the Centre would have in mind."
Modi, who is considered as one of the rising second rung leaders within the BJP, has been in the thick of controversies for his Hindu right-wing image.
Advani received 11,000 questions during the one-and-a-half hour interaction, according to Rudy. Advani replied to 35 of them.
When asked whether he felt India should attack Pakistan, Advani said, "What action precisely to take is a matter in which only a government which is fully posted about all the necessary parameters within which action can be taken can decide."
When asked if India needs a younger Prime Minister, Advani said, "I think the important part of it is that you need to understand the global situation, and who can think of a modern India. These are the two essential attributes necessary to lead the country. I can humbly claim that it is possible for me to do so."
One of those chatting with him wanted to know about the secret behind the 82-year old leader’s good health.
Other than crediting his personal and ideological (RSS and BJP) family, Advani said, "I am a small eater, some friends attribute my physical health to this fact."
Speaking on Kashmir, Advani said, "I am conscious of the fact that problems which remain unresolved for decades tend to become more and more irresolvable."
Demanding a composite dialogue on all issues related to the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir, he said no one should justify terrorism in the name of Kashmir.
He said that Obama becoming the US President was a matter of special joy for two reasons. "It reaffirms the close bond between India and the US. Secondly, by reposing their faith in the ideals of equality, freedom and racial non- discrimination, the people of US have signalled the triumph of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr."
He hoped Obama’s attitude towards terrorism would be "uncompromising".
Advani said though US has a black person as President after so many years, in India Zakir Hussein became President just a few years after independence but "no one expressed any surprise over it" despite the pain of partition on religious lines.
Advani said one of his groups is working on what precise steps need to be taken in the first 100 days — if NDA come to power — to bring about a transformation.
On young voters, including the 10 crore first-timers, the BJP leader said he understood their potential. He reiterated his stand that India should seriously consider making voting compulsory as in countries like Australia and Italy.
BJP would launch a massive program to get in touch with the young voters between 18-25 years of age, he said.
Advani said that if NDA is voted to power, he would ensure good governance, development and security. He pulled the UPA government for the "worsening economic situation" and unemployment in the country.
Advani said BJP had been successful in its campaign against psuedo-secularism and votebank politics of the Congress. "We changed the nature of this debate and transformed it into genuine secularism versus pseudo-secularism," he said.
This was Advani’s third such attempt to reach out to the internet users through e-chatting. There are an estimated 47 million internet users.
However, Advani’s team seems to have filtered the inconvenient questions like on BJP veteran Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s decision to enter the electoral fray and pose a challenge to Advani’s candidature for Prime Ministership, Kandahar hijacking issue, Parliament attack, Gujarat riots and Babri masjid demolition.
"It was not possible to take all questions," Rudy said, maintaining there was no question on Shekhawat.