Narendra Modi all set to be anointed BJP PM candidate
BJP was all set on Friday to declare Narendra Modi as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate after hectic parleys by senior leaders to convince L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi to give up their opposition to him.
BJP Parliamentary Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the party headquarters in New Delhi, it was announced.
While Mr Joshi is said to have been won over, last minute efforts were on to bring around Mr. Advani and Ms. Swaraj.
The decision to convene the panel meeting came after Mr Rajnath Singh held a meeting with Mr Advani.
Earlier, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari met party president Mr Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue. Later, Mr Gadkari met Mr. Advani to persuade him on Mr Modi’s name. Ms Swaraj and Mr Ananth Kumar also joined the meeting.
Mr Advani had conveyed his reservations about announcing Mr Modi’s name at this juncture. He had suggested that the BJP chief ministers should be consulted on the issue and the party should wait till the forthcoming Assembly elections to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi are over.
The BJP patriarch is of the view that making Modi the Prime Ministerial candidate will put issues like price rise and corruption -- on which the BJP has attacked the Congress -- on the backburner and make the controversial leader the issue, party sources said.
The sources indicated that the BJP leaders want a unanimous decision on Mr Modi at the Parliamentary Board meeting and hence had intensified efforts to win over dissenting voices.
Mr Joshi was asked to return to the capital by a special flight from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh where he had gone to attend a party programme. Though he is not convinced about Mr. Modi being projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate, he has conveyed to the party that he will abide by the majority view in the Parliamentary Board, the sources said.
Mr Modi got a shot in the arm on Friday when NDA allies Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal extended their support to him for the Prime Ministerial candidate post.
Mr Modi flew to Delhi from Gandhinagar late on Friday afternoon to attend the meeting.