BJP to soon announce PM candidate

The BJP has made up its mind on who the party’s prime ministerial nominee for the 2014 general elections.

The BJP has made up its mind on who the party’s prime ministerial nominee for the 2014 general elections would be and a formal announcement is just a few days away, informed sources said Wednesday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources indicated there was a broad agreement on the name of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

Modi is the BJP campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “There is no confusion or contradiction in the party on who will be the prime ministerial candidate. At an appropriate time, party president Rajnath Singh will announce it.”

A formal announcement may come soon, said the sources, amid hints that BJP parliamentary board could meet this week, probably Friday, to approve Modi’s candidature.

But convincing L.K. Advani remains a concern for Rajnath Singh, who met the party veteran Wednesday, said sources. Along with Advani, senior leader Sushma Swaraj too is of opinion that a decision on Modi’s projection as prime ministerial candidate should be taken after the assembly polls in five states, said sources.

Rajnath Singh also spoke to Sushma Swaraj who wants Advani to be taken on board, said sources. In case a general consensus among the parliamentary board does not emerge, Rajnath Singh can also make an announcement even without a parliamentary board meeting as he has the power to do so. 

Though no date has been fixed as yet, there was no doubt the formal announcement would certainly be made before Sep 20 when the 14-day shraadh period (considered inauspicious among the Hindus) would begin, sources said.

According to sources, a decision on Modi was taken during the weekend strategy session attended by top leaders of the BJP as well as its political mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

However, there was pressure from party cadres in favour of an early announcement as it will work to the advantage of the party, sources said.

RSS leaders are helping Rajnath Singh make the crucial announcement, said sources.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier told a news channel: “The parliamentary board will soon meet and take a decision on the party’s prime ministerial candidate. Yes, Modi is one of the tallest leaders today and popular. We have yearning for him but allow the parliamentary board to take a call.”

He also said: “Advani is our tallest leader. We have great regard for him.”

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