Patna: Senior BJP leader Chandra Mohan Rai, who resigned from all posts on Tuesday, claimed that the former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had opposed the prime ministerial bid of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi two years ago.
"Sushil Kumar Modi had told me sternly to stop forthwith my campaign for anointing the Gujarat Chief Minister as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate while we two were seated next to each other in a commercial flight on way to Goa for a party conclave where Narendra Modi was declared as the BJP's PM nominee," Rai claimed at a press conference soon after quitting all posts in the party to protest against selection of candidates for assembly polls.
Rai further claimed that the former deputy chief minister became unhappy with him as he did not pay heed to the plea and instead led a letter campaign to other BJP leaders, to seek their support for the then Gujarat Chief Minister's prime ministerial bid.
He further claimed Sushil Kumar Modi not only did not want Narendra Modi to be projected as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate but nursed so much ill-will towards him that he did not congratulate Modi for being elected as the Gujarat Chief Minister for the third term in 2012 apparently due to fear of Nitish Kumar.
"I am sure that the Prime Minister has not forgotten what all Sushil Kumar Modi did to derail his prime ministerial campaign," Rai said.
He said he, however, did not nurse any ill-will towards Sushil Kumar and would have been happy if the party zeroed on him as the chief ministerial choice as he happened to be the most capable for the top post among all state BJP leaders.