BJP backs Sushma's statement on Modi as PM
The BJP Sunday backed senior party leader Sushma Swaraj's statement that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was "fit" for the job of prime minister, terming him a "very popular and successful" chief minister.
Party leader Arun Jaitley said the Gujarat chief minister is "very successful and popular and we will obviously praise him".
Jaitley also hit out at the Congress, saying it has a "phobia" about Modi and attacks the BJP chief minister.
Sushma Swaraj had Saturday told reporters in Vadodara that Modi is "definitely fit for the job (of prime minister) and there is no doubt about it".
Asked to elaborate, she said Modi is "kabil and yogya (capable) and there is nothing wrong in our praising him".
BJP leader Gopinath Munde Sunday backed Modi for the post of prime minister.
"Narendra Modi is capable of becoming PM and I am satisfied with Sushma Swaraj's opinion... He has potential of becoming PM," Munde said in Ahmedabad.
"People love him a lot and people are in his support. The BJP will win in Gujarat," he added.
However, striking a different note, Congress leader and Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said Modi has "squandered Gujarat's future... 45 percent of the children in the state are malnourished, and the health of over 40 percent girls is very poor".
"The atmosphere in the state is very bad, we would not want that replicated in India," said Scindia.
Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat said Modi lacks an all-India image and backed Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi as prime minister. "In 2014, young India will chose its leader and Rahul Gandhi is the best person," he said.