RSS, senior BJP leaders await his assent to name PM candidate, Rajnath tells Mr. Advani

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani continues to play hardball on naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

A series of meetings between him and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and several senior BJP leaders in the last few days have yielded precious little. He has stuck to his guns that naming of the prime ministerial candidate should be done only after the conclusion of elections to five Assemblies in November.

Pressured by the RSS not to delay the announcement any further, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Wednesday made a last ditch attempt to get Mr. Advani’s assent on the anointment of Mr. Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.

In the course of the 30-minute meeting, Mr. Singh is believed to have apprised Mr. Advani of the views of senior leaders of the party and the RSS, seeking the party patriarch’s green signal to go ahead with the announcement. However, Mr. Advani reportedly reiterated his position.

On Tuesday, the former BJP president, Nitin Gadkari, called on Mr. Advani and requested him to propose the name of Mr. Modi at the Party Parliamentary Board meeting, scheduled either for September 13 or 16.

Mr. Advani conveyed to Mr. Gadkari that he had no issue in proposing the name of Mr. Modi after the Assembly polls with a caveat that if others still decided to go ahead, they were welcome to do so.

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