Now, ‘Advani-as-PM’ chorus in BJP

A fresh chorus of "LK Advani for PM" has begun in BJP even as a tussle is on between party and JD(U) over Modi being declared NDA candidate for PM.

Updated: Apr 16, 2013, 00:10 AM IST

New Delhi: A fresh chorus of "L K Advani for Prime Minister" has begun in BJP even as a tussle is on between the party and JD(U) over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being declared the NDA candidate for the top post.

While a section of BJP leadership is clamouring for Modi as the party`s PM candidate for the next Lok Sabha elections, prominent leaders like Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh have said Advani is more suited for the post.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is being pitted against Modi as a challenge as he is likely to equal the Gujarat CM`s record of three consecutive assembly polls, today said Advani is the "tallest" leader in BJP.

"It`s a blessing for our party that there are so many talented leaders with us but no doubt Advani is the tallest leader. Everybody in this country knows this fact," Chouhan told a television channel.

Sinha, who is known to speak his mind and often defies the party line in doing that, also batted for Advani.

"Advaniji is the senior-most, most respected leader and if he is available to lead the party and government, then that should end all discussion," Sinha said.

Sinha had earlier maintained that Modi is best suited to be BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate.

Former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, who is close to Advani, also suggested he is most suited for the job.

"Advaniji is the seniormost leader of BJP, nobody can question his stature," he said.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj too
did not rule out Advani. Known to enjoy his confidence, Swaraj said she would not share her views on Advani with the media.

"Whatever I feel, I will tell my party," Swaraj said, when asked about Advani being made the PM candidate.

She herself is seen as a strong probable for the top post. Asked about her chances, she told another news channel. "I have never taken any planned step myself. Whatever responsibility the party gives, I will discharge that."

BJP President Rajnath Singh played down the differences with JD(U) over Modi`s candidature and said though this is an "unfortunate situation" he is confident that the "crisis" that has developed will be resolved.

Asked about his own prospects, Singh said "what will happen, the (party) President cannot say. We have a system to run the party. We don`t want to break the system. I am the party President but I cannot break the system. I have to move ahead by respecting the system..."

Singh maintained BJP`s alliance with JD(U) and other NDA partners is based on a Common Minimum Programme but he accepted there can still be differences between them over some issues.

"Political parties are not the same. Differences could be there on certain issues. What we try is that if there are differences on an issue, it should be sorted out," he said.

He reiterated BJP stand`s that it is the Parliamentay Board of the party which will choose the PM candidate.