Aurangabad (Maharashtra): BJP President Rajnath Singh today justified the induction of Gujarat strongman Narendra Modi in the party's highest decision-making body, claiming he is the "most popular" Chief Minister in the country.

"Modi has been made a member of BJP's Parliamentary Board as he is the most popular Chief Minister today", he told the media at Chikalthana airport here on his arrival for a two-day visit to drought-hit areas of Aurangabad and Jalna districts in Central Maharashtra.

Asked why he had not appointed Modi in the board during his previous tenure as the party chief, Singh said "it was based on public feedback. The decision to include him in the Parliamentary Board too is based on feedback from people." The BJP chief, who took charge late last year, on Sunday released a list of his 74-member new team. The 62-year-old Gujarat CM was the sole BJP leader to be inducted into the 12-member Board.

To a question related to former President Nitin Gadkari and senior party leader Gopinath Munde, widely seen as rivals in Maharashtra, Singh said both are capable to lead the state and denied differences existed between the two. The former UP Chief Minister said his party would provide all possible assistance to the people in the drought-affected Marathwada region.

Singh later visited the Sambhaji Raje Cooperative Sugar Factory at Chittegaon and then went to see fodder camps. He also interacted with farmers of Pimpri and Bhakarwadi villages. In the afternoon, the BJP chief had meal at the residence of a farmer in Bhakarwadi.


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