New York: The BJP, which had so far maintained that it was not unduly bothered about denial of American visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday said it will appeal to the US administration to lift the travel ban on him.
Addressing a press conference here, party president Rajnath Singh said he would take up the issue with the US lawmakers in Washington during the week. "I will appeal to the US government to clear the US visa for the Gujarat Chief Minister," he said.
The party had always maintained that Modi was not clamouring for a US visa while criticising the US stand saying he was a democratically elected popular leader of the state.
Singh is on a five-day trip to New York and Washington to meet the Indian diaspora.
Ruling himself out of the prime ministerial race, Singh virtually anointed Narendra Modi as its man to the top job if the party comes to power after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"Seven months before the elections, I have nominated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as Chairman of the party's Election Campaign Committee. What is unusual in that? We have nominated Modi like other parties do and why read between lines. I have named him as campaign head in view of his image, popularity and commitment to the party," he told a press conference here.
Giving all indications that it could be Modi who is the prime ministerial candidate, Singh said the CM is the most popular and tallest leader of India now.
"He is a crowd-puller not only in Gujarat but also in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, from north to south, east to west. He is one single leader with a national appeal. His popularity will help the party in the elections," he said.
The performances of several BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh are there for the people to see and if these states can provide 24-hour power supply, clean and efficient government, fillip to industries compared to poor performance of many Congress-ruled states, what would people prefer? People have made up their mind, he said.
Detailing steps taken by the BJP to face the elections in 2014, he said the party had brought changes in organisational level by forming polling booth committees for every booth.
On the recent debacle in Karnataka and setbacks in other states, the BJP president said Assembly elections and municipal polls are different from Parliament elections where people vote for a stable government.
"We are confident that the failure of the Congress government will help the BJP return to power. Any political party that aspires to come to power should give good governance and satisfy the needs of the people. If they fail in this front, they will be out of power."
On allies deserting the party, he said the BJP would try to get a clear majority in the polls but at the same time will not forget its allies.
"Despite a clear majority in sight, we want our allies to participate in the government at the Centre. Now we have the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal and may get some nearer to the elections. There is also a possibility of post-poll alliance with like-minded parties if there is a need," he said.