| Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Manipur, take out a procession on the second day of the convention in Patna. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Dec. 27: The BJP central leadership might dither naming its prime ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha elections, but the party’s future leaders appear unanimous in their choice — Narendra Modi.
Most Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) delegates, who have gathered in the state capital to attend the association’s 58th national convention, felt that the BJP should project the Gujarat chief minister as its PM candidate if the party wanted to come to power in New Delhi. Around 4,000 ABVP delegates from across the country and neighbouring Nepal are attending the convention. Today was its second day.
“Narendra Modi is one such leader in the BJP who is acceptable to one and all. Besides, Gujarat’s rapid growth and high employment have made him a leader whom the youths want to lead the country,” said Kanika Shekhawat, a second-year political science student of Miranda House, New Delhi.
Students who have come from states where the BJP has negligible presence also want to see Modi as the future Prime Minister. Vishnu Mohan, an ABVP member who has come all the way from Kerala’s Kollam district, said: “Modi delivers what he promises. Gujarat has become one of the most developing states in the country because of Modi. At present, he is one of the best chief ministers.”
Most ABVP members felt that corruption was one of the biggest challenges for the country and it is the youths’ responsibility to fight against graft. “Corruption is a disease that weakens society. If it is not diagnosed at an early stage, it rots society,” said Nidhi Kala, a third-year BA student of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University. She added: “The ill-effects of corruption and the recent scams have had an effect on our economy. Many companies have stopped recruitments, while many have resorted to cost-cutting measures and even lay-off.”
ABVP national general secretary Umesh Dutta said: “We will never allow commercialisation of education and our organisation will stage a series of agitations against it.”
In the evening, ABVP members from various states took out a colourful procession from Jaya Prabha Blood Bank ground and to Gandhi Maidan, the venue of the ABVP’s open convention.
Around 50 representatives of various states, dressed in white, led the procession. They were followed by delegates from various states in their respective traditional attires. The delegates from various south Indian states were dressed in their traditional angavastram dhoti, those from Assam performed Bihu dances.