Mr. Naidu said the support of other parties to BJP-led NDA in the interest of the country was welcome, but the party would neither accept conditions nor let down its allies.

Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday asserted that there was no rethinking or second opinion in the party on the choice of Narendra Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate.

At a press conference in Hyderabad, he said: “Mr. Modi is the leader. He will be the Prime Minister and there is no second opinion.”

He said that there was no discussion in this regard in the party nor was there any talk about the cabinet berths to be allotted. The party leadership would meet on May 17 to take stock of the situation and decide the future course of action, he said.

He said all the senior leaders were in touch with each other and no significance need to be attached if a leader met another party functionary. Replying to a question on the likely role veteran leader L.K. Advani would play, he said Mr. Advani is the tallest leader and “the party needs his guidance.” He said all senior leaders would be suitably honoured.

‘Any party welcome to join NDA, but without conditions’

He said the support of other parties to BJP-led NDA in the interest of the country was welcome, but the party would neither accept conditions nor let down its allies. He maintained that BJP and its allies would win 300 Lok Sabha seats and the party would welcome whoever extends support in the interest of the country. There was no question of accepting conditions, he asserted and added “we will not let down allies”.

Asked if the BJP would accept the support of YSR Congress, he said that party had no chance to win. “TDP is our ally and not YSRC,” he added. Mr. Naidu expressed confidence that the TDP-BJP alliance would form the government in Seemandhra and secure good results in Telangana where the scope of a hung Assembly could not be ruled out.

‘Manmohan, honest but weak’

Mr. Naidu said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, though honest and simple, ended up being seen as a protector of the corrupt for sake of power. “Mr. Manmohan Singh maintained personal integrity but tolerated corruption and was seen as a weak and meek PM,” he said.

The BJP leader faulted the UPA government for taking major decisions on the eve of demitting office and said some of them will have to be reconsidered. Asked about the appointment of a new Army Chief, he said there is time till May 30. “They should have left it to the discretion of the new government,” he added.