Bhubaneswar, Oct 27:
In a clear sign of the fast increasing importance of Narendra Modi in the national discourse, popular Gujarati recipe ‘dhokla’ has replaced the good old ‘bara’ and ‘dalma’ as the standard fare served at party meetings – and even press conferences – of the state BJP.
The change in menu has come about after the Gujarat chief minister was anointed the party’s prime ministerial candidate, BJP insiders admit.
‘Dhokla’, however, is not the only sign of the growing craze for all things that have a bearing on the man, who has emerged as a serious contender for the Prime Minister’s post after the 2014 polls. Modi masks, so far limited to the state of Gujarat, have now made their presence felt in distant Odisha while party workers flaunt T-shirts with Modi’s face printed on them. Wherever one goes, giant cut-outs of the BJP leader stare at people.
So overwhelming has been the Modi mania that even ‘lotus’, the party symbol, has now been pushed into the background. The party clearly believes that Brand Modi is a bigger draw than Brand BJP.
“It’s a good sign that Modi is becoming a brand and is widely accepted among people. His popularity could be leveraged for votes at the national level. By projecting him as PM candidate, the BJP is essentially saying that a vote for the party is also a vote for Modi,” said a senior BJP leader.