NEW DELHI: Hours before the formal announcement, the allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday confirmed that Narendra Modi would be the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.
CNN IBN reported that the BJP president Rajnath Singh informed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of party's decision to nominate Modi as its PM candidate.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said his party welcomes the decision. "Yes, we will win 100 per cent if we fight under Narendra Modi. Yesterday, Uddhavji (Uddhav Thackeray) talked to Modiji, and congratulated him as well. We will welcome it if Modi is declared the PM candidate," Raut said.
Also, Shriromani Akali Dal, another key ally of the BJP, was also informed about the decision. Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal was called by the BJP president to inform that Modi will be NDA's PM candidate for the 2014 elections.
Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral said that the decision of anointing Modi will unite the NDA. "In politics differences don't last for long. Everyone will fall in line, NDA stands united," Gujral as quoted by CNN IBN.
Meanwhile, all eyes are set on BJP parliamentary board meeting on Friday, where leaders of the party will try to evolve a consensus within the party over declaring Modi as their prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
Following consultations with top leaders here on Thursday, party President Rajnath Singh decided to convene a meeting of the parliamentary board this evening.
Singh said a decision on the party's prime ministerial candidate will be taken after discussions and consultations.
Advani upset with the decision?
Party stalwart L.K. Advani is appearing to be a stumbling block for the saffron outfit in finalising the name of Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
According to a CNN IBN report, the senior leader informed Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath in a meeting that he wouldn't be interested in continuing in the party of Modi is announced as the party's PM candidate.
Several attempts have been made by senior leaders to convince Advani, who had resigned from all party posts when Modi was appointed the election campaign committee chief in Goa earlier this year.
The BJP President even met the stalwart at the latter's residence here on Wednesday, but failed to convince him.
According to certain media reports, Advani has reportedly told Rajnath Singh that fronting Modi as the party's candidate for Prime Minister will be a 'disaster' and will 'destroy the BJP's prospects' in the general elections next year. (With inputs from agencies)