Modi at heart of strife within BJP

Modi at heart of strife within BJP
Mr Modi has also raised the topic of skills creation as a means of enhancing economic activity. He also has plans to bring down inflation, thus reducing the need for social welfare schemes.

India's opposition leader Narendra Modi may be the favourite to lead the country as prime minister after the upcoming general election, but he is also the reason for the strife within his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, a former foreign minister, was expelled from the party on Sunday after he refused to heed party orders not to contest in Barmer, the constituency of his choice, as an independent candidate.

In a statement, he alluded to Mr Modi's clout in the Hindu nationalist party.

"A party that puts the whims of individuals before the greater good of people has certainly lost its vision," he said, adding that the "BJP of today" was no longer the party forged by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani.

The nomination of Mr Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, as BJP's prime ministerial candidate has split the party, with the old guard on one side and Mr Modi on the other.

In June last year, Mr Advani handed in his resignation from the party, only to withdraw it less than 24 hours later following pleas from other leaders.

Shortly after, the Janata Dal (United) broke a 17-year alliance with the BJP in the state of Bihar, also over Mr Modi's elevation.

The past few months have seen Mr Modi, credited with turning Gujarat into an economic powerhouse, tighten his grip on the party as he emerged as the front runner in the elections.

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