Narendra Modi
Narendra ModiReuters

Amidst signs of divide in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the elevation of Narendra Modi, party president Rajnath Singh is expected to make a big announcement on the Gujarat chief minister at the final day of the national executive meet on Sunday in Goa.

Senior party leader L K Advani and some other senior leaders including Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Uma Bharti and Shatrughan Sinha decided to skip the party's two-day national executive meet citing various reasons including health issues.

The absence of these leaders had earlier raised doubts on whether the party would go ahead and announce Modi as the election committee chief. Advani was reportedly against the proposed elevation of Modi during the meet.

The BJP has been struggling to resolve the dilemma over Modi's role in 2014 general elections. In the absence of Advani, BJP did not take any decision at the national executive meet on Saturday regarding the elevation of Modi's position as campaign committee chief for the 2014 elections.

According to BJP sources, Rajnath Singh is expected to declare Modi as the poll panel chief during his valedictory address to the executive on Sunday. Rajnath is said to have involved in back-channel negotiations till late on Saturday to get Advani on board.

In a last ditch attempt, the BJP president reportedly contacted Advani, who is said to have offered a compromise and suggested that the Gujarat Chief Minister be appointed the "convenor" and not the "chairman" of the party's election committee for the general elections. In that case, Modi will be one of the key leaders of the party, but not the most prominent leader.

Modi, however, is learnt to have rejected the offer. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent body of the BJP, is also keen on making Modi as the campaign committee head. Even leaders like Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar have openly called for Modi's appointment as the party's election chief.

With mounting pressure, the onus is now on the BJP president, who is expected to make a "big announcement" regarding Modi on Sunday.

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