Amid the bickering within the BJP over projecting him as the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, in an apparent attempt to put pressure on the party leadership, said Thursday that he does not dream of occupying the top post and would serve the people of the state till 2017.
“I never see such dreams (of becoming prime minister), nor am I going to see such dreams. People of Gujarat have given me the mandate to serve them till 2017 and I have to do this with full strength,” Modi was quoted as saying at a Teachers’ Day function in Gandhinagar which was also attended by Governor Kamla Beniwal. He was responding to a student’s question on whether he would come and interact with them next year, if he becomes the prime minister.
“Those who dream of becoming something end up destroying themselves. One should not dream of becoming something, but one should dream of doing something,” said Modi, according to a PTI report. His statement is being seen as a veiled dig at L K Advani, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2009, who is reported to be opposing any move to announce Modi as the PM candidate before assembly elections later this year.
In Delhi, party leaders sought to downplay his remarks, saying “It was an official function and this was the most obvious answer”. But top party functionaries admitted that “it was a message to those within the party opposing his projection” as the prime ministerial candidate.
“The sum and substance of his message was to mount a pressure on the leadership to take a quick call, while taking a dig at Advani,” said a BJP source.
Modi’s statement is also being seen as a message to his detractors, who are learnt to be demanding his resignation from the chief minister’s post if he wants to be projected as the prime ministerial candidate.