Live: Up to BJP to save youth abandoned by UPA, says Modi

5.45 pm: We must go forward with the dream of a "Congress-mukta Bharat", says Modi

Modi concludes his hour long speech adding that must go forward with the dream of a "Congress-mukta Bharat".

"The country was progressing under Vajpayee's rule. No longer, under this government. The UPA says they will make a strong law. But actually that is not under the purview of a law minister. So nothing happens, he said.

5.35 pm: Congress has taken the people for granted, says Modi

Modi has been speaking for half an hour but is still going strong, listing out the many failings of the Congress. And this time he is talking about the UPA has betrayed the future of the youth.

"Congress promised work for a crore of the nation's young. In the past five years, 80% of the jobs have been given by BJP. What will happen to our young's future? If we don't put our young's energy and potential to use, it will be a waste.", he said.

"The government is taking no strong action to stop the loss of innocent lives. They are running the country in a non-serious way; they have taken the people from granted. We can't leave the country helpless. And we have to help the youth whom the UPA has abandoned", he said.

"We are not out to grab power, we must win back the trust of the millions of Indians", he added.

5.23 pm: Modi continues attack on 'corruption proof' Congress

Continuing the attack on Congress, Modi said that the Congress was 'corruption-proof'. "They aren't even affected by allegations, they laugh it off. They are without shame".

He brought up the Chief Ministerial internal security meet adding, "The PM had called a meeting about internal security. Suddenly he stood up and talked about the Chhattisgarh tragedy. Then I said, the jawans who were there, we need to take care of them. What I said there, shouldn't he have done it?"

"The govt is mishandling red terror. They have no clear policy to control Maoist terror. There have been no answers given by the Congress to the questions raised by NDA state governments", he added.

He also brought up the issue of women's safety, saying "If a girl doesn't get back home before six in Delhi. Parents don't know. Will my daughter come home or not? Today there is no faith in the government. Incident after incident, our faith is disappearing".

Modi added that the Supreme Court has to interfere in all the policy changes of the Centre, adding that Article 356 (Assault or criminal force in attempt to commit theft of property) has been used wrongly by the Congress in the past.

"Congress is power hungry, it can stoop to any level to retain power", he added. But he hastened to add that power by itself was not poison, as it was needed to bring about change.

And finally a crowd pleasing stunt that is sure to have the government up in arms. Mocking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said that when he went to meet him, the PM didn't move or talk a lot, and instead sat very peacefully.

5.08 pm: 'I am honoured to hold this office', says Modi

Continuing his speech, Modi said that the BJP  had traditionally never bowed down in front of anyone and vowed to continue that legacy. He took the time to thank the unsung party workers and cadre, saying "There are party workers whose faces were never shown on TV. But for generations their families has been working for the party. Many great politicians have put their energy and work and time behind me, as much as they must have given their own children".

"The position might be given to one, but the responsibility is held by all", he added.

Modi also 'modified' Jaitley's assertion that his appointment was an instance of 'well begun, half done', saying that in his opinion, 'well begun was half won'.

5.00 pm:  I have been given a great honour in the eyes of the nation, says Modi

Narendra Modi finally takes the podium, accompanied by loud cheering. It was a few minutes before he could even start speaking.

The visibly pleased Modi began by thanking all the leaders of the party and thanked Rajnath Singh in particular for giving him the responsibility. "In the eyes of the nation, Rajnath Singh has given me a great honour. I am proud", he said.

"This faith like what Rajnath Singh entrusted in me is what gives me the energy to keep going day and night", he added. "Rajnath Singh did not let me speak before him; this is not a function of position or power but of his large-heartedness.

"I've have been guided the entire way, my finger has been held the whole way", he said.

"We are all party workers. we will do whatever duty has been assigned to us", added Modi.

4.45 pm: We made this appointment for the country, says Rajnath

BJP President Rajnath Singh took the mic after Jaitley although Modi was called to the dais next. Huge anti-climax for the cheering supporters.

He started off smilingly however, saying that he came forward 'even though he was not called'. Why? because although "technically party president should speak last, I will let Narendra Modi have that honour".  That understandably goes down well with the party cadres.

His next comments were also profound. Speaking of the decision on Modi, Singh said, "I feel a lot of peace and happiness about today. Today we have done what we did for the country".

"I made the decision. I was congratulated. But the nation's people and BJP's workers should be congratulated. We have given you a leader that the whole world will respect", he added.

Rajnath Singh then continued the attack on Congress. "How much time does the Congress want? Since this government has come, all prices have gone up", he said, directing his question at party President Sonia Gandhi.

"Hindustan should become the country's most well-off and powerful state", he said, adding that "The small countries of the world also don't listen to India. Congress has let down the country", he said.

The BJP President went on to attack Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his alleged involvement in the coalgate scam, saying he should have taken moral responsibility and resigned.

Having said his piece however Rajnath Singh says "We will not go to the public with the failures of Congress; we will go the public with a vision document. We will not betray you. I see your enthusiasm and hope. My faith is complete that no power can stop the BJP", he said before ending.

4.40 pm: Vajpayee left footprints of leadership; Congress has left a history of non-leadership: Arun Jaitley

After congratulating Modi and reminding him of his massive responsibility in helping overthrow the Congress government, Jaitley continued his attack on the Congress, saying that the Congress had left India feeling leaderless.

"The country is feeling leaderless today. Leaders come and go but never has the PM's office been so helpless. Atal Bihari Vajpayee left footprints of leadership; Congress has left a history of non-leadership", he said.

Jaitley also attacked Congress policy, saying that under its leadership and contrary to its claims, in India, the poor are getting poorer. "The injustice isn't being fought, rather there is a veil being put on it", he said, adding that the economy was also in a dire situation.

Jaitley added that there has been misuse of the NIA and CBI by the Congress who were using the two institutions as tools to cover their own political inadequacies.

"So that the truth doesn't come out, they used the NIA. This is the worst government. Our credibility has been harmed", he said..

"Rajnath Singh made the first step today. Half the work has been done today", he added.

4.31 pm: Rajnath Singh has given India's destiny a new turn today, says Jaitley

Senior BJP leader and leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, has said that BJP President Rajnath Singh has given India's destiny a new turn today.

"Party President has taken consensus into account and given Narendra Modi the responsibility", he said.

Wasting no time on upping the ante against Congress, Jaitley said the decision was an example of the stark differences between the BJP and Congress. "Ours is not a family controlled party. BJP as a party is the only organisation which is structured. The office of the prime minister has become a target of jokes"

"The people want this Congress govt ousted; this appointment is a huge responsibility", Jaitley added.

4.29 pm: Parikkar praises Modi at mega BJP rally in Goa

Wrapping up the three-day BJP conclave in Goa, the Chief Minister of the state, Manohar Parrikar who was seen as the loudest voices in support of elevating Narendra Modi, said that the party needed a government and a leader who can take decisions.

3.54 am: Elevation of Modi will benefit all of India, says Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who recently found himself in the eye of a storm when he was seen to be favoured over Narendra Modi by veteran leader LK Advani, has rushed to express his happiness with Modi's elevation.

"Modi Ji is an able administrator,strong organization leader, under his stewardship BJP has made a hat trick in Gujarat", Chouhan tweeted. "This decision shall not only benefit BJP but shall also benefit the country as a whole. Development of Gujarat and victories for the party prove Modi Ji's capacity as an administrator and unparalleled poll manager", he added.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is “humble” like Atal Behari Vajpayee and BJP wants both Chouhan and Narendra Modi “play a major role” in securing India an important place in the world, senior party leader LK Advani had said in comments that created a furore.

He had added that Chouhan had managed to turn the state around despite the lack of development in the past, whereas Modi had inherited a economically healthy state.

“I often tell Nadrendra Modi that Gujarat was already an economically healthy state when he became chief minister. He has only made Gujarat a better state. But Madhya Pradesh was a ‘bimaru’ state, and it underwent a total developmental change and evolved as a healthy state, for which I give full credit to Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” said Advani.

Advani had also said that Chouhan shared many qualities in common with the party’s former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

3.20 pm: Yashwant Sinha slams media for 'creating' Advani-Modi rift

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who was absent from the Goa BJP conclave, lashed out at the media for forcing the BJP into a "quicksand of an imagined clash of personalities".

"I was one of the earliest to speak in favour of Narendra Modi. The cadres wanted it, people wanted it. He has no match in the Congress party or elsewhere. Unfortunately the BJP has one major flaw. We are too sensitive to the views in the media. We often allow media to dictate agenda", he said.

Yashwant Sinha also said that his support for Advani stemmed from Indian cultural values teach the highest respect for our elders. "We do that everyday in our families and deride those who do not do so. It was this feeling in my mind that prompted me to say that if Advani was on board, then the leadership question should be put to rest. This was misinterpreted by the media as me changing my support".

"Advani is not only the most senior leader, he is one of its most respected. What happened in front of his house yesterday is condemnable", he said referring to pro-Modi protests that took place outside his Delhi residence on Saturday.

"It is true that I did not go to Goa, but my reasons not to go were personal, not political", he added.

2.55 pm: Modi thanks senior leaders for support and blessings

And its apt, we suppose that Narendra Modi's first reaction to his elevation within the BJP party should be made via Twitter.

"Senior leaders have reposed faith in me. We will leave no stone unturned for Congress Mukt Bharat Nirman. Thanks for support & blessings", read the tweet from the Gujarat Chief Minister's account.

 

Meanwhile the reactions keep coming in thick and fast. Congress leader Rajiv Shukla was disparaging in his response. "If they can't keep a party together, how will they run the country?", he asked. "Congress is not afraid of Narendra Modi".

Meanwhile Modi added that he had spoken to veteran leader LK Advani on the phone and had received his blessings soon after his appointment was made official.

 

2.35 pm: Modi's appointment has nothing to do with us: JD(U)

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) has refused to comment on the naming of Narendra Modi as BJP campaign chief, saying that it had nothing to do with the party.

"He has been named BJP's campaign chief not NDA's,so we have nothing to say in this. It has nothing to do with us", said Devesh Chandra Thakur of the JD(U).

2.20 pm: 'Everyone wanted this', says Goa CM

And after the much awaited announcement, the reactions start pouring in.

"This is a positive direction. Everyone wanted this in the party. For five minutes, everyone was clapping", said Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Parrikar was seen as one of the key people behind the elevation of Modi, as he is believed to put a lot of pressure on the party leadership.

2.02 pm: Rajnath Singh makes public announcement on Modi's new role 

Soon after his announcement made at the BJP conclave, BJP President Rajnath Singh made a short announcement confirming that the party had chosen Narendra Modi to head the campaign committee.

"BJP considers 2014 Lok Sabha election to be a major challenge. We are determined to win", he said.

BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar and Arun Jaitley accompanied Rajnath Singh for the brief announcement. Narendra Modi himself was absent though.

There was no celebration of any sort after the announcement, leading to heightened media speculation of 'tension' and 'disappointment' among the other leaders.

No such tension among the party cadre though:

 

 

1.31 pm: Narendra Modi named campaign chief

Narendra Modi has been officially named the BJP campaign chief. The much awaited and highly expected announcement was made during the speech of BJP President Rajnath Singh

Singh had said that Modi would be the Chairman of the BJP campaign committee.

"The whole party has faith that he will lead us to victory", Singh had said during his speech.

A formal announcement is due soon.

Meanwhile Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has lost no time in congratulating the Gujarat Chief Minister on his new role.

1.25 pm: Sushma Swaraj comes out in support of Modi: reports

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj who is currently addressing the BJP conclave in Goa, has reportedly come out in support of Narendra Modi, Times Now reported. BJP President Rajnath Singh, who is expected to make the official announcement on Modi at the conference is now speaking.

"We understand this sense prevailing in the party cadre, It is the BJP that will come to power", he has been reported as saying. It looks as though Rajnath will make his announcement shortly - but only after he has made all his other points.

Meanwhile a podium is being erected in front of the Goa hotel where the BJP leadership is due to make a public announcement to the media as soon as Rajnath Singh finishes his speech to the cadre.

12.45 pm: Rajnath Singh calls Advani

BJP President Rajnath Singh has called veteran leader LK Advani, reported Times Now quoting sources. However according to the channel, Singh had only inquired after Advani's health and not mentioned anything about Narendra Modi's impending elevation.

12.30 pm: We must free India of Congress rule, says Modi at meet

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who seems to be the centre of the ongoing conclave in Goa, has said that the people of the country are angry with Congress, and that it was up to the BJP to deliver the country from Congress rule, said CNN-IBN.

"Congress says "bharat nirman mei haq hai mera, desh says bharat nirman mei shaq hai mera", he was quoted by the channel as saying.

Modi had also said that differences between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had cost the country, and added that there should a statue of Sardar Patel bigger than the statue of liberty in the country.

12.20pm: 'Modi is fear factor for Congress', says Hussain

And now more on Modi. Hussain starts by saying that the reason that Congress leaders keep talking about Modi was because they were afraid of him. "Modi is a fear factor for Congress. But let them keep talking, it doesn't matter", he said.

He added that the BJP was the only antidote to the 'poison' of the Congress.

Hussain also took the opportunity to deny that there was a rift in the party with regards to Advani. "Advaniji has fought against the Congress all his life through his articles, statements etc and it will continue", he said.

12. 15 pm: We will not let the cadre down, says Hussain

Shahnawaz Hussain says that with regards to Modi, the party will not 'let down the party cadre', adding that an announcement on him will be made in a 'matter of minutes'. Yes, the same thing we heard an hour ago. However this can be seen as official confirmation that Modi is going to be elevated in the party ranks.

12.05 pm: Congress should apologise for its four years of misrule, says BJP

And the big press conference is finally underway. After all the rumours and build up, BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain is addressing the media.Is this the big announcement that the media has been waiting for?

But that can wait. First up of course is some healthy Congress bashing.

"We have stressed on the 4 years of UPA's misrule in our political resolution. Congress should beg the people for forgiveness for its 4 years of misrule", he said. He added that the divide between 10 Janpath (Sonia) and the Prime Minister had also cost the nation dearly.

"Sonia Gandhi's cabinet doesn't let Manmohan's cabinet do anything constructive", he said.

11.31 am: BJP will be split into two factions, says Congress

Everyone is watching the BJP conclave with great interest, and unsurprisingly that involves the Congress.

And given the obvious tensions unfolding in Goa, Congress leaders can't resist the temptation to make a few digs at their main opposition.

"There is stiff infighting in the BJP over the appointment of Narendra Modi. The concerns of senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi are being ignored. It clearly indicates that the BJP is in turmoil and in the coming days the party will split into two factions", said Congress leader Jagdambika Pal.

Meanwhile Digvijaya Singh wearing his heart on his sleeve, announced his sympathy for LK Advani via Twitter. "My heart goes out to advani ji. he brought bjp from 2 to 182 in lok sabha . but then the ungrateful bjp is a party with differences...

 

10.24 am: Matter of minutes before 'big news' is announced

This is the BJP's big day and they are making sure they give an ever clamouring media just enough to keep them hooked.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain just came out into the pouring rain in Goa to tell waiting media personnel that the big announcement was only 'minutes' away. However a public announcement is likely to be made only after BJP President Rajnath Singh makes a speech confirming all the developments.

Meanwhile Times Now said that Singh had vetoed a suggestion by veteran leader LK Advani asking for two committees, instead of making Narendra Modi poll campaign chief. The channel said that this course of action had been taken after several attempts to try and convince Advani had failed.

A press conference has also been scheduled for noon.

9.10 am: 'There will be an announcement on Modi'

BJP Vice President CP Thakur says that there will be some announcement on Gujarat chief Minister Narendra Modi will today, according to CNN-IBN.

Meanwhile it seesm that the power struggle between LK Advani and Narendra Modi is worsening.
The BJP National Executive meet continued till late last night on Saturday. According to CNN-IBN sources Modi has raised pitch and wants to be appointed as BJP's PM candidate.

8.10 am: Narendra Modi to address executive today

The BJP National executive continues today. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi will be addressing the executive today and will be talking about elections.

The National Executive will end with Presidential address by Rajnath Singh at around 12:00 to 1:00pm

According to CNN-IBN sources, Modi has demanded as being anointed as PM candidate along with poll panel chief.

It also seems that party President Rajnath Singh is struggling to reach a compromise as Team Advani stands firm on its grounds. Senior RSS leader Bhayyaji Joshi is in the national capital to meet the BJP patriarch and end the stand off.

Sources have told CNN-IBN that there will be NO decision on Modi, in the absence of senior BJP leader LK Advani and till Advani gives a clear approval.

End of updates for 8 June

6.15 pm: BJP slams UPA's anti-terror, foreign policy

After the meet in Goa, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman blamed the UPA for the Maoist menace and also criticised its foreign policy.

Sitharaman said, "The UPA has failed to take care of internal terror related issues. Fighting terror has become communal as the UPA uses terms like Hindu terror."

On the UPA's foreign policy she said, "Our neighbouring countries are unhappy because of our foreign policy. The UPA is diluting our foreign policy." She added that Maoism was being tackled in a very confusing and laid back manner.

"The Congress said it will be firm with the Maoists, but they brought in confusion and undermined the handling of the issue," Sitharaman said.

3:55 pm: Rajnath's compromise: Modi to become convenor of campaign panel, not chairman

According to CNN-IBN, party chief Rajnath Singh may offer a compromise under which Modi will not head the poll panel as the chairman but will instead be the convenor.

The slight demotion in position is reportedly the compromise intended to placate the Gujarat Chief Minister and party partiarch, who is at home due to a fever. However, the Gujarat Chief Minister is reportedly set on the position of the chairman of the panel and this compromise may not go down well. But it may keep the Advani-loyalists happy.

BJP spokesperson Shaina NC however, claimed it was fiction and there was no truth to any of the reports.

1:45 pm: Protest outside Advani's house

A group calling themselves the 'Narendra Modi Army' has held protests outside ailing leader LK Advani's house in Delhi over his absence at the BJP conclave, which they presumably see as an affront.

What's more surprising is that there is a group with that unusual name:

1:25 pm: Any announcement on Modi won't happen till tomorrow

Party spokesperson Javadekar said that there would no announcement on Narendra Modi today and any announcement that the party would make wouldn't happen till tomrrow.

He batted away all questions on Modi saying that the media would need to wait till the party's announcement tomorrow.

The party will discuss the upcoming state and national elections today during which they would further form their strategy to taken on the Congress, he said.

Javadekar also accused the Congress of making rude statements against Modi due to 'Modi-phobia' and said that they have never used similar language while speaking of Congress leaders or party president Sonia Gandhi.

1:05 pm: Advani has been advised rest, will not attend national meet at all

After a long explanation about what the party president Rajnath Singh said during the national executive meet, party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that he had been advised rest and wouldn't attend the meeting taking place in Goa.

"Rajnath Singhji told us that doctors have advised Advani to take rest for next 3-4 days," Javadekar said.

He claimed that Rajnath had also spoken to the doctors and after that had advised Advani to take rest.

The spokesperson said that Advani remained a big leader in the party and that would not change due to his absence from the meet.

Javadekar said that it was the culture of the party not to take any decision without consultations with all senior leaders.

However, he refused to comment on any other developments saying that the party would make its announcements regarding any decisions only at the end of the conclave tomorrow.

12:30 pm: I don't have Namonitis, have other reasons for not going to Goa, says Yashwant Sinha

Senior party leader Yashwant Sinha said he had not gone to Goa for the national executive meet for reasons other than illness but refused to specify what they were.

"I don't have 'NaMonitis. There are other reasons due to which I have not gone to Goa," Sinha told reporters.

He said the media was free to speculate on the reason for his absence from the meeting. 'NaMonitis' has a good ring to it though. Expect it to be used a lot more in the coming days.

12:00 pm: Advani camp says no major announcement should be made without him present

CNN-IBN quoted unnamed BJP sources as saying that supporters of veteran leader LK Advani have said that any campaign panel announcement shouldn't be made without him being present.

The party chief has reportedly been advised to name the poll panel chief only in the presence of Advani, which would mean that no announcement is likely to come out of the meeting in Goa today.

11:20 am: Rajnath speaks to Nitish, is told JD(U) cares only about PM candidate

CNN-IBN reports that BJP party chief Rajnath Singh has spoken to crucial ally Nitish Kumar about picking the poll panel chief and was told that the only thing the Bihar Chief Minister is concerned about is who the Prime Ministerial candidate will be.

The BJP has been told that it can go ahead and pick its poll panel chief as it pleases, the channel reported quoting unnamed sources within the party.

So Modi it is then?

11:15 am: Parrikar joins ranks of Modi supporters, says Modi should be face of party

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today openly pushed for projecting Narendra Modi as the BJP's "face" for the next general elections, becoming the first senior leader to do so in the divided party.

Parrikar, while showering praise on Modi for his "administrative capabilities" and "popularity", said the
Gujarat Chief Minister's projection would give a tremendous boost to the electoral prospects of the party.

Modi's projection should come at least six months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls expected around May next year to give "clarity" to the people of the country who "do not like ambiguity", he told PTI in an interview here.

"On the basis of public opinion, definitely Modi should be the face of the party. I am not saying he should be
declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate. But he has to be the face of the party. This is what I am getting feedback of people...I know what is wrong and what is right," he said.

The Goa Chief Minister said he has got "clear signal" about "public opinion in favour" of Modi because he is in
constant touch with the common people.

"I have some communication with the common people and I get clear signal about that (Modi's projection)," Parrikar said.

He added that the decision in this regard has to be taken by the party's top leadership and he will respect that even if his view is not accepted. (PTI) 

11: oo am: BJP national executive meet begins

Amidst rumours of rifts and suspicious absences of top leaders who are all ill, the BJP national executive meet has finally begun.

And not surprisingly the Congress isn't missing the opportunity to poke fun at their rivals.

I have no business with the BJP. I would want them to stay sick.It is for Rajnath Singh to ask after their health. But personally, I hope they recover soon," senior party leader Digvijaya Singh said.

10: 30 am: Rajnath Singh to speak around 11:30 am

The party chief is expected to address the media and is likely to say what is already known in the media. Will he make any other major announcements related to the Gujarat Chief Minister? Unlikely.

According to CNN-IBN, a decision on Modi's ascension is unlikely while Advani isn't present.

10:15 am: BJP defends Advani's absence, says his absence won't affect meet

BJP spokesperson Shaina NC has defended the BJP leader's absence saying that it was impossible to predict when some one would fall ill and Advani's absence was a result of him being advised not to make the journey due to ill health.

"What is not important is whether Advaniji is there or not but what message we take to people from this meet," she told CNN-IBN. 

She said the objective of the meeting was to discuss issues like misgovernance and corruption in the UPA government and they would take that message to the people.

8: 45 am: Advani advised to stay away from BJP meet for second day

After his absence from the first day of the national executive meet sparked speculation over a rift with the party, the announcement that BJP stalwart LK Advani wouldn't be attending the second day as well only gave the theories further credence.

CNN-IBN quoted sources as saying that the senior BJP leader was still suffering from a stomach ailment and wouldn't be attending the second day of the national executive meet as well.

Will Modi be elevated in the party? PTI

Will Modi be elevated in the party? PTI

The decision on whether he would attend the third day of the meeting will be taken on Sunday itself, the sources were quoted as saying.

Advani's absence from the meet yesterday had sparked speculation that he was upset over the possible elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the post of the party's 2014 election campaign .

While Modi had refused to comment on the issue, party chief Rajnath Singh had said that he had told Advani not to attend the meet on account of his ill health.