Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh here this evening, shortly after the conclusion of the party's national conclave.
The media projected the nearly half-an-hour-long meeting between the two leaders as a courtesy call by Modi before his deparature for Gandhinagar, but sources suggested that the two may have discussed strategies to be followed in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.
Later, however, Rajnath Singh told media that his meeting should not be seen as a courtesy call by Modi, but more as a meeting between two old friends.
He also rubbished Congress criticism of Modi on the issue of him projecting the ruling party as a sychophantic entity. He said that Modi had not named anybody, but had only stated an already known fact that the Congress was a family bastion.
Modi, who was by Singh's side, did not make any comment.
Earlier in the day, Modi scathingly attacked the ruling Congress party while addressing the BJP National Executive.
"It goes without saying that the BJP is with a mission. And if we talk about the activities of the Congress, then we find that the Congress is for commission. Friends, the country is going to witness a battle between mission and commission. And the country wants freedom from commission. I believe the whole country should be told that this is a commission party. Its name is commission party. It is in the helicopter scam, the 2G scam, they want commission out of everything. Be it one percent, two percent, five percent, for the uncle, for the brother-in-law, for the sister-in-law, for the brother, for the niece, this is what has been going on," said Modi.
In the backdrop of the recent budget presented by finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, Modi called the federal government's various economic reforms as a bluff and termed the economic crisis as a result of the UPA's own mistakes in policy making.
"I ask the economists from anywhere in the world, do the steps that the government of India taking come even close to the term economic reforms? You correct your delivery system, which has resulted due to your mistakes, which shows your misgovernance. You call it a reform when you go to correct it? Is this what a reform is? Reforms are related to policies which prove effective for the next forty to fifty years. They are nowhere to be seen here," he said.
The Gujarat chief minister state also launched a bitter attack on the Gandhi family accusing them of running a dictatorship within the Congress party, adding that to keep themselves in power, they have put up a puppet Prime Minister like Manmohan Singh and left out deserving candidates like Pranab Mukherjee.
Modi accused the Gandhi family of sabotaging Mukherjee's prowess to keep themselves in power within the party and the government.
"I don't as to what is the general opinion in the party. But I feel that if Pranab Mukherjee had been made the Prime Minister instead of Manmohan Singh, then maybe we would not have seen so much economic ruin. Because he is a man connected to the soil. He knows the problems, he could look for solutions to the problems. But if had Pranab Da succeeded, then what would have happened to the family? To ensure this, they started the tradition of putting the reins of the country into anybody's hands and appointing a night watchman," he said.
Modi is being pitched as next Prime Ministerial candidate by the opposition, National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Modi had won a fourth successive term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat state in December; a victory that could launch the prime ministerial ambitions of one of the country's most popular but controversial leaders.
The black mark against Modi, 62, is the accusation by critics that he did not do enough to stop - or even quietly encouraged - religious riots in 2002 that killed as many as 2,000 people, most of them Muslims.
The meeting which stresses on channelising on a party strategy for the next General Elections in 2014 and reflecting on the economic scenario of the country saw Modi take a strong position on the economic front as well.
Modi, is praised by both corporate India and a majority of voters in Gujarat for presiding over years of fast growth and clean governance, but his record is marred by deadly religious riots in the affluent state 11 years ago.
In December he won a third consecutive term in office, and since then many in his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have called for him to lead the party in national elections due by early 2014. (ANI)