According to sources, at least five Cabinet ministers and even Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were in the fray but none could really challenge Modi's appeal to the young minds.
One of the organisers of the conclave said the internal poll was held to make a list of the most-sought after political and business leaders to be present at the conclave and Modi received the highest number of votes. Students from B Com (Honours) and BA (Honours) Economics participated in the poll. He, however, did not share the number of votes polled for Modi.
It was learnt that Tata expressed his regret for not being able to make it to the college for he was already ready for the occasion. Modi, meanwhile, made it clear that he would speak only on business and social development issues at the 'Shri Ram Memorial Oration' at the Business Conclave 2013.
Organisers said the BJP leader would spealk about successful business models that helped Gujarat to grow. The topic of Modi's discourse 'Emerging Business Models in the Global Scenario' has been introduced for the first time this year. The conclave has mainly seen business leaders addressing in the last four editions.
Modi's speech will be aired live on his website www.narendramodi.com.
College principal PC Jain, although refused to confirm if such a poll was indeed conducted, he admitted that Modi had emerged as a quite a favourite among the students and also praised the leader, saying he was the first to say 'yes'. "We have a democratic way of selecting the speakers," he said.
The programme at SSRC is believed to have been facilitated by BJP leader and college alumnus Arun Jaitley. Top BJP leaders from these parts like Vijay Goel, Vijender Gupta, Vijay Jolly and Jagadish Mukhi also belong to the SSRC alumni.
The three-day conclave would conclude on Wednesday.