LK Advani never opposed Narendra Modi as PM candidate: Rajnath Singh
A day after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s anointment as the BJP`s PM candidate for 2014 polls, party president Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the party would be able to form the next government at the Centre under the leadership of Gujarat CM.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/Mumbai: A day after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s anointment as the BJP`s PM candidate for 2014 polls, party president Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the party would be able to form the next government at the Centre under the leadership of Gujarat CM.
At the same time Singh also said that the party patriarch LK Advani continues to be a senior leader of BJP who has the `right` to be angry but that did not reflect divisions in the party on the issue of Modi`s elevation.
Addressing party members here, while reiterating Lok Sabha MP Sushma Swaraj`s view that no one is upset in the party, Singh said, "Advani ji is not isolated in BJP and have also never said that Narendra Modi should not be made party`s prime ministerial candidate."
"Advani continues to be our leader, guardian and mentor. He has every right to be angry. I take cognizance of it and would try to address it. Where is the question of his isolation?" Singh told reporters here.
Opposing Modi’s anointment as the prime ministerial candidate, Advani was noticeably absent from the party’s parliamentary board meeting yesterday.
"It is not within my capacity to reply back to him (Advani). If a guardian scolds somebody in the family, it does not mean there are differences within the family. Advani never said Modi should not be nominated BJP`s prime ministerial candidate," Singh said on Advani`s absence when Modi was elevated.
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With NDA having lost several of its allies, JD(U) being the latest, the BJP chief said he would look for new partners but made it clear that existing ones would be taken into confidence before sewing up new alliances.
"Will look for new pre-poll, post-poll allies but only after taking existing NDA partners into confidence," Singh replied to a query on the upcoming 2014 polls.
The BJP chief said all allies of his party who would contest the 2014 General Elections together would participate in the next government if the alliance came to power.
"Our existing allies, including Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal, supported the decision on Modi. There is the possibility of new pre and post-poll alliances. But before we take a decision on that, our present allies will be taken into confidence," Singh said.
He was asked whether Raj Thackeray`s MNS would be persuaded to join NDA. Raj Thackeray is considered close to Modi but his estrangement with cousin Uddhav, who heads Shiv Sena, continues. Any decision to bring MNS into NDA fold may not go down well with Shiv Sena.
However, the BJP leader, who was instrumental in Modi`s elevation despite strong reservations voiced by party patriarch LK Advani, rejected suggestions that the decision to elevate the Gujarat chief minister was taken under pressure from the RSS.
"RSS never pressured BJP into taking any decision," Rajnath Singh said.
Earlier today, Rajnath Singh also addressed a gathering after inaugurating a new building of Mumbai Bullion Association at Zaveri Bazaar, where he had shown confidence of getting 272 plus seats in the 2014 elections.
"Give us 272 plus seats and we will form a government whose economic policies will restore India`s pride globally," he had said.
With PTI inputs