BJP inching towards Modi for PM announcement

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) The BJP appeared to be inching closer towards announcing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, possibly on Friday, even as party chief Rajnath Singh continued efforts to bring on board leaders who want the decision to be deferred till the assembly polls.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources said that the decision on Modi's elevation would be announced "soon" and could happen Friday.

Rajnath Singh said that all senior leaders were being consulted on the issue and sought to downplay reservations of senior party leader L.K. Advani on declaring Modi as prime ministerial candidate.

"No one is miffed with anyone. ..We will decide after talking to everyone and will make the announcement at the appropriate time," he told reporters here earlier in the day.

As part of efforts at building consensus, the BJP chief Thursday evening met Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who, like Advani, is learnt to have reservations on a decision on prime ministerial candidate before the assembly polls to five states.

Rajnath Singh did not speak to the waiting media after the meeting and did not give an indication if he had been successful.

Sources said that Rajnath Singh was keen to avoid a showdown at the parliamentary board meeting and was a trying to build a broad consensus. Party leader Ananth Kumar had also met Sushma Swaraj after calling on Advani and then met the party chief.

The sources said that parliamentary board meeting could be held Monday if it is not held Friday.

Rajnath Singh had Wednesday met Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as part of efforts to build a consensus.

Earlier, former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi made a veiled criticism of Advani.

"Advaniji has failed to gauge the public mood. Advaniji himself declared Atalji as PM candidate. Now also he could have done the same for Namo (Narendra Modi)," Sushil Modi tweeted Wednesday night.

Narendra Modi is the chief of party's campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, a member of BJP's national executive, said the party leadership was trying to reach a consensus and admitted there were leaders who did not favour Modi.

However, he indicated that the party was willing to make the announcement despite the reservations of these leaders.

"Hope there is consensus in parliamentary board. If not, the majority decision will prevail," Narasimha Rao said.

BJP has maintained that a decision on prime ministerial candidate would be taken by the parliamentary board.

Party leaders said Rajnath Singh may, as an exception, make an announcement on Narendra Modi after consulting members of the board individually.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological fountainhead of BJP, has given its opinion on the issue of prime ministerial candidate to the party, and there is also pressure from supporters of Narendra Modi for an early decision.

"What the party would be doing tomorrow is only formalising a decision taken," a party leader said.

Those pushing for Narendra Modi's elevation as prime ministerial candidate feel that it will help build momentum against the Congress and help crystallise people's mood in favour of the party.

But Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was close to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee besides Advani, Thursday accused Narendra Modi of polarising his own party and questioned his ability to head a stable central government.

"A socially polarising leader has polarised his own party. Can he run a smooth, stable and effective government at the centre? Think seriously," he tweeted.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Troubled Trott to take another break

Troubled Trott to take another break

Jonathan pulled out of England's tour to Australia Brisbane with a 'stress-related illness'. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »