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Narendra Modi as PM candidate: BJP fails to convince LK Advani

Last Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 00:25

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Despite the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) making its choice clear, senior BJP leader LK Advani appears to be holding to his view that the Narendra Modi’s elevation as PM candidate should be postponed till upcoming assembly elections in five states.

Sources told Zee News that Advani continued with his resistance to Modi when he met party president Rajnath Singh today.

Reports said that the ‘for Modi’ leaders in the BJP want the parliamentary board meeting to be convened on September 13 or latest by September 16. They were willing to leave the choice of the date to Advani but won’t agree to any further deadly on the matter.

With Advani remaining unconvinced it remains to be seen how the issue will play out in the coming few days. However, it seems highly unlikely that Advani can continue to veto the decision on Modi, especially after RSS joined the ‘Modi for PM’.

Earlier, Advani had announced his resignation from all BJP posts immediately after Modi was anointed as head of the party`s election Campaign Committee, but was convinced by RSS to withdraw it.

Other than Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi are in the camp that is opposed - at least on the issue of timing - to the announcement of Modi as PM candidate. They want the declaration to be postponed till the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram.

However, the RSS and the BJP top brass seems to have made up its mind not to delay the matter any further and are pushing for the announcement to be made when BJP parliamentary board meets next, within the next few days.

Understanding that the main stumbling block is Advani’s opposition, the party top brass in a final bid to ensure unanimity sent former party president Nitin Gadkari to meet Advani yesterday evening. Gadkari flew to Nagpur after the meeting – he may have had appraised the RSS leadership on the outcome of his talks with Advani.

Gadkari did not meet Joshi and Swaraj though the possibility of him having reached out to them on the phone has not been ruled out.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had held a dinner meeting with Advani and Swaraj last week to discuss this issue. Earlier, RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi had also met Advani and Swaraj separately to convince them.

Senior Ravi Shankar Prasad summed it up when he said, “Advani is our tallest leader...allow the BJP parliamentary board to take a decision (on Modi as PM candidate)”.

First Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 11:00
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