New Delhi: Notwithstanding party veteran LK Advani`s opposition, BJP on Thursday looked set to declare Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate and a meeting of its top leaders may be convened as early as tomorrow to formalise the decision.
Amid the push by Modi supporters and RSS to make the announcement at the earliest, hectic efforts were underway to muster the widest possible consensus, including the consent of Advani.
As part of these efforts, senior leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar met Advani today to persuade him to give up his opposition, sources said.
BJP President Rajnath Singh has also been meeting senior leaders before convening the meeting of Parliamentary Board where the decision will be formalised.
Sources said the meeting of the 12-member Board, the highest decision-making body of the party, could be held even tomorrow. Else, it may be called on September 16.
Singh met Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of Opposition who is said to be with Advani on the issue, this evening for about an hour. Last night, he called her up to discuss the issue after meeting Advani for about 30-minutes.
He has also met Murli Manohar Joshi, who is said to have said that he would go by the majority decision even though he also has reservations.
Earlier in the day today, Ananth Kumar also met Swaraj.
Advani, who is the stumbling block in the announcement, is understood to have conveyed to the party leaders that Modi`s projection would hurt BJP`s campaign against UPA over issues like corruption and price rise as the focus would be on Modi.
While Advani has not said anything publicly on the issue, his close associate Sudheendhra Kulkarni attacked Modi, describing him as a "polarising" leader" in the society as well as the party and cast aspersions on his ability as a Prime Minister to run a stable and effective government.