Vajpayee wanted Modi to quit over Gujarat riots, but party said no: Venkaiah Naidu

No BJP leader is afraid of Modi. He is one of our colleagues and the darling of the masses today, Venkaiah Naidu said.

New Delhi | Updated: March 9, 2014 9:32 am

Dismissing reports that BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was overshadowing the party, senior party leader Venkaiah Naidu cited the example of how former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee wanted Modi to resign as Gujarat Chief Minister after the 2002 riots, but he had to give in to the party’s “collective decision” against the move. This is evidence that no individual leader is above the party, said Naidu, who was the BJP president at the time of the Gujarat riots.

“No BJP leader is afraid of Modi… He is one of our colleagues and the darling of the masses today. In the BJP, the president presides, team decides,” said Naidu, speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange programme on Friday.

“Even during Vajpayee’s regime, decisions were taken collectively… Atalji opined that the Gujarat Chief Minister (Modi) should adhere to raj dharma and step down (over the 2002 riots). But the party collectively decided that he should continue, and that decision prevailed. I was the party president, it was a difficult moment for me, but Atalji went along with that (the party’s decision). That is how the the BJP functions,” said Naidu.

“I recorded this only to show that the party functions collectively… which is why Modi continued and he won an election… Vajpayeeji campaigned for him also,” he said.

“There is a clear distinction between the functioning of the BJP and other parties. So, don’t worry, no BJP leader is afraid. We are all proud that one of our colleagues has become the darling of the masses and he is going to become the Prime Minister of the country. Nobody is afraid of him,” said Naidu.

The former BJP president, who hails from Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh, also accused Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar of being “partisan” and facilitating the introduction of the Telangana Bill in the House.

“The Speaker is wrong. I am saying this on record… she is partisan, she is wrong. I am ready for any debate on this issue,” he said, questioning Kumar’s ruling that the Telangana Bill was introduced while the Opposition parties claimed that it wasn’t. “They have played a very dirty game… Sushmaji (Swaraj) was not aware that the live telecast had been stopped. They claimed a technical problem. Technical or tactical. I said it is neither technical or tactical, it is practical. They planned it, and then did it,” he said.

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  1. B
    Mar 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    Party is saying Modi is darling of the mes,so where is shame in that?Shame on all those peoples who talking nonsense for Dear Modi.Shame on HT who giving a wrong heading for this News.
  2. B
    Mar 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm
    Shame to HT who gives wrong heading for the news.The news is all praise for Modi from Party but the heading of the news is not.
  3. K
    Khushminder Sahasi
    Mar 9, 2014 at 12:49 am
    This is quite evident from Naidu's statement that despite Atalji's wanted Narendra Modi to step down as CM of Gujarat after 2002 riots, but over ruled by RSS and not BJP who controls the reins. Now MM Joshi and Advani ji who saved Modi will repent, since Rajnath Singh over ruled all before nominatin NaMo as prime ministerial candidate on behest of RSS again. Once elected NaMo will pursue RSS agenda of Hindutva. Beware all. Wake up lest is is too late.
  4. D
    Mar 10, 2014 at 1:24 am
    BJP in its own interest, may have forgiven him for killing 2000 Muslims, and asked him to continue. But, what about the common people ? Who cares for them ? People would have been content with BJP, had he been sacked And an example Set for Raj Dharma
  5. D
    Mar 10, 2014 at 1:29 am
    Party Said "NO" because Party does not Follow "Raj Dharma" Party follows Communal agenda to polarise hindu votes
  6. D
    Mar 9, 2014 at 2:41 am
    Not shame on the party but smart decision by the party. The riots were caused by the Muslim killers of 59 Hindus in Godhara returning from pilgrimage. Shame on you Mr. Singh and people like you.
  7. B
    Banda Gangaraju
    Mar 9, 2014 at 2:40 am
    Atal B Vajpayee wanted Modi to quit. Modi sta. Vajpayee retired. If Telangana bill is not deemed to be introduced why did BJP go alongwith it? Venkayya Naidu wants to run with the hare and hunt with the hound.
  8. G
    Mar 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm
    Was it the govt of BJP or NDA? So the PM was only a BJP representative and had no power all power remained with with BJP. Or he was PM of the country.To send jaswant singh to Kabul was also a collective decision? About this Mr. Adwani says he was not aware. Shame
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