Brushing aside serious reservations expressed by veteran leader L.K. Advani, the BJP is all set to announce Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general election.
(PTI adds that the BJP on Thursday decided to hold a meeting of its Parliamentary Board on Friday on the issue.
Despite hectic efforts to bring Mr. Advani round by Parliamentary Board members Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, the patriarch refused to toe their line.
Not wanting to delay the announcement any further, Mr. Singh has convened a meeting of the Parliamentary Board on Friday at 5 p.m. when a decision on Mr. Modi is expected to be announced.)
After his vain attempt on Wednesday to secure the consent of Mr. Advani, the BJP chief on Thursday met Ms. Swaraj to get her on board. Like Mr. Advani, she too wants the issue of the prime ministerial candidate deferred till the conclusion of elections to five Assemblies in November.
There is a talk of Mr. Singh making a unilateral announcement with the proviso that he has taken the decision after individual consultations with members of the Parliamentary Board.
The RSS, which has thrown its weight behind Mr. Modi, is keen that the announcement is not followed by public acrimony within the party. Hence, the efforts by Mr. Singh to persuade leaders like Mr. Advani.
While Mr. Advani has remained silent on the issue, his close associate Sudheendhra Kulkarni attacked the Gujarat Chief Minister, describing him as a “polarising leader” in society as well as the party and cast aspersions on his ability as Prime Minister to run a stable and effective government.