Adding a new twist to the continuing debate over the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday clarified that senior leader L K Advani had not hinted at his preference for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to reporters here, Rajnath asserted that Modi was the most popular leader in the country. “There can be no two opinions about Modi’s popularity. Advani’s comments were misinterpreted. He did not praise Chouhan to show Modi in a poor light,” he said.
Advani had praised Chouhan at a party meeting in Gwalior on Saturday and went to the extent of comparing him to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Drawing a comparison between Modi and Chouhan, the NDA chairperson had said though the former’s development of Gujarat was impressive, the latter deserved recognition for turning around a poor state like MP. Without stopping at that, he had said Chouhan’s humility was comparable to that of Vajpayee.
Asked if Advani was pitching for another person for the top job, Rajnath replied that the party’s parliamentary board would decide on the party’s prime ministerial candidate. Taking the opportunity to lash out at the UPA, the BJP chief said the people were not only disillusioned with the UPA rule, but also fed up and want to overthrow it. “The unbridled corruption of the UPA Government poses a systemic risk to governance in our country. The UPA has miserably failed the country, but still is celebrating its nine-year rule shamelessly,” he said. ENS