13 September 2013, when BJP declared Modi as PM candidate IG News

The G-20 was successfully organized under the chairmanship of India recently. India is being appreciated all over the world. The influence of India that is visible today on global platforms, the change that is visible in the political condition and direction of the country, the sense of hope that is visible on the faces of the common man, the script of all these was written in 2013, on this day i.e. on 13th September. .

In fact, before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, on September 13, 2013, the then BJP President Rajnath Singh had held a press conference in New Delhi. The then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi was also with him.

In the same press conference, it was announced that Narendra Modi will be the Prime Ministerial face of BJP in the upcoming elections. Before that, speculations were being made that Lal Krishna Advani could again be the face of PM. Many also thought that Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitley could also be the PM face, as Modi was projected by the media as the person who led the 2002 Gujarat riots, while no one paid attention to this fact. That Gujarat had remained largely peaceful during the 12 years of his tenure as Chief Minister.

There are many tweets from that time in which Rana Ayyub and Rajdeep Sardesai had fiercely attacked the BJP for choosing Narendra Modi as the PM face. During that time he was taking Narendra Modi very lightly.

They also made fun of his US visa status.

You see, no one really thought that this man from the banks of Sabarmati would fulfill this dream of BJP. Media perception was against him. He was called a ‘merchant of death’ by opposition leaders. His own colleagues were not very happy about this and made it abundantly clear. In June 2013, when discussions were gaining momentum about Modi being the Prime Ministerial candidate, JDU’s Nitish Kumar broke the 17-year-old NDA alliance.

He had made his ‘dislike’ for PM Modi quite clear. Nitish Kumar had also canceled a pre-scheduled dinner event for several BJP leaders, including Modi, in 2010. Two years ago in 2008, he had also returned Rs 5 crore given by the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government to Bihar for flood relief. He returned it with interest.

It is noteworthy that BJP came to power only once for five years. At the same time, BJP was taking a huge risk by promoting Modi as the PM candidate, when its own party colleagues were angry over this. Apart from this, he was also challenging the Congress-led UPA, which had the entire ecosystem supporting it to come to power for the third time.

During his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had launched a biennial summit called Vibrant Gujarat. A senior journalist once told me that right after the 2002 riots, Modi had decided to bring change in Gujarat. He had made up his mind that when people think of Gujarat, they will think of progress. The first Vibrant Gujarat Summit was held in 2003 during Navratri, a nine-night long dance festival.

Before that, Modi called editors and journalists from various media houses and gave them a power point presentation on his vision. A journalist told me that Gujarat news editor Shreyansh Shah, who had carried inflammatory news during the 2002 riots, was also present. He told me that Shah had walked out in the middle of the presentation. Obviously he would not have liked all that. After this the then Chief Minister of Gujarat himself stopped him and asked him to come back. But Shah still did not agree.

This was when Modi stopped caring what the media said about him. He had decided to let the work he did speak for itself.

The next summit was scheduled for January 2015. Narendra Modi took full advantage of this opportunity. He conducted a series of ‘Vibrant Gujarat Pre-Event Summits’ on various topics like green energy, clean technology, education, agriculture, information technology.

Those who rejected the summit in 2003. People were publishing it on the front page even before its launch. He not only told the country what he did as a CM in the most entrepreneurial state. But also that he fulfilled the promise he made. He knew that our country’s economy was stuck due to policy paralysis. He made sure everyone knew about it.

But there was little hope that the BJP might actually have a chance. The movement against corruption was at its peak. People were angry with Congress. But was their resentment enough to allow the BJP a majority? Were people willing to ignore incidents and fabricated stories to vote for Modi after the 2002 riots? Would it be wise for BJP to choose a rational leader as its PM face? Will there be a ‘hung Parliament’ and BJP will have to depend on allies for a stable government for 5 years? To be honest, I wasn’t sure.

This picture is from 2 days before the counting of votes. India had decided. It seemed from Modi’s body language that he was sure that he was coming to Delhi.

BJP took risk. Modi won and how. Not just once. He not only repeated history but also established his hold on power by making a comeback with a strong mandate in 2019.

That announcement by Rajnath Singh changed the history of the party. Gave the party a strong opportunity to create a new hope and identity every year. In the current circumstances, the path to 2024 also looks easy for him.

(This article was originally published by the then editor of OpIndia English on September 13, 2020.) Nirva Mehta Had written. We are republishing it with some necessary changes)