Thursday, September 12, 2013

BJP ready to announce Modi as PM, but not now

New Delhi: Most of the BJP sources are tight-lipped and all that they would indicate is that “consultation is on” though the decision may not be done too quickly. What is clear is that the party has decided on Modi-as-PM and one of the senior functionaries said that the announcement will be made sooner than later. According to reliable sources, party president Rajnath Singh met senior leader L.K.Advani and discussed the issue of announcing the name of Modi. But they did not fix on a date. It has been explained that this is not due to disagreement on the date. The question did not come up. Everyone in the party, including those who are opposed to Modi and they are in a minority, are now reconciled to the inevitable: that Modi will not just spearhead the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign but that he will also be the prime ministerial candidate of the party. The party leaders are deliberating on the decision because it is not a simple one. It would involve many other decisions as well. First is whether to make the announcement before the state elections due in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi or after. There is also the consdieration about the impact factor. The impact will be greater if the announcement of Modi-as-PM is made at the time of releasing the election manifesto of the party. L.K.Advani was declared the prime ministerial candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabha election manifesto of BJP/NDA. If Modi is made the party's prime ministerial candidate, this may require that he resign as chief minister of Gujarat. It would be rather odd that the BJP's PM candidate should continue to function as chief minister of a state. Secondly, Modi will also have to decide to contest the Lok Sabha election. Sources say that it could be either from Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh, but that it is likely to be from Gujarat. If he was just a national election campaign committee chairman, then it would not have been necessary for Modi to contest the parliamentary election. But if his name is announced for the office of prime minister he has no choice but to contest the election.

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