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Updated: September 10, 2012 02:24 IST

Bal Thackeray bats for Sushma as Prime Minister

Special Correspondent
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Sushma Swaraj
The Hindu Sushma Swaraj

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Sunday declared his preference for the post of prime minister. Putting paid to any possibility of support for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Mr. Thackeray said he would back Sushma Swaraj for prime minister as she was the only deserving and brilliant person who fitted the bill. “She’s a savvy woman and will perform her job as prime minister in a forceful and decisive manner,” the Sena chief said in the third part of his interview with party mouthpiece Saamna.

Mr. Thackeray was also not too happy with BJP leader L.K. Advani’s stand that the next prime minister would not be from the BJP but from another third or fourth front. “What can I expect from these people? Why did he say this? Let it be.”

The whole country, not only Maharashtra, was passing through depressing times, he pointed out. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party were coming to power time and again because of the money power they wielded. Despite all this, the Sena won the civic polls in Mumbai and Thane and this was because of the spirit of the Marathi Manoos. The Marathi Manoos would never forget the Sena because of the pride and dignity the Sena had given them.

Mr. Thackeray said he could not describe the Sena-BJP ties as strong in Maharashtra as many things had changed. He also raised doubts over the leadership of the National Democratic Alliance, of which he is part of. “There is no balanced leadership like the one under Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” he noted. Asked about the future of the Sena-BJP alliance, he said he was not worrying about the future of the alliance and that was his position even before the alliance was formed.

He lamented that unlike other States that had their own identity, there was no unique Marathi identity or imprint, not even a dress code for a Maharashtrian that would distinguish him or her like people in other States. He blasted the State government’s plan to declare Shivaji Park as a heritage area, saying that all of Shivaji Maharaj’s forts were in shambles and they were not brought under any heritage tag. “You can’t even take care of Shivaji Maharaj’s forts. First do that,” he said.

Party has many capable leaders: BJP

PTI reports:

In Delhi, BJP leader Balbir Punj said the party had a “number of capable leaders” who could fill the slot as Prime Minister.“For our existence, we are not dependent on any single family and, therefore, different people see different leaders in our party who can lead the country in these difficult times. And we welcome what Balasaheb has said.”

Speaking in a similar vein, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “The BJP has many leaders who are competent to become Prime Minister and are acceptable in the country ... a decision on this will be taken by the BJP and other NDA partners at the time of elections.”

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, “The larger NDA suffers from a unique malady of anointing prime ministers without awaiting people’s verdict ... The NDA/BJP should not count their chickens before they hatch.”

Mr. Tewari said: “While in 2007 there was one prime minister-in-waiting [in the NDA], by 2012 the numbers are multiplying at a rate that defies the logic of calculation.”

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The upcoming lokh sabha election may give an equal opportunity to all the stakeholders; UPA, NDA and non UPA-NDA. The UPA-2 has failed to bring any innovation in dealing insurgency and infiltration across the border areas,furthermore the infamous 2G,Commonwealth and, now the coalgate has degraded the crediblility of UPA in insignificance position.With these plus points NDA should put that candidate who command the credential of bieng clean and secular identity.NDA should remembered that leadership and secularism are the most important determinars of succss in indian electoral democracy.No one in NDA substitutes A.V. Vajpayee,but Sushma Swaraj is the secand most eligible leader after the former.

from:  Tening linggi
Posted on: Sep 9, 2012 at 20:46 IST

Many may agree or disagree with the sena chief about his opinion on who in BJP could have qualities to become the PM candidate but many PRO BJP / NDA supporters would view her controversial "stature" remark on the person of esteemed Vice President of India as immature and in poor taste. And again, her alleged closeness to those involved in the Bellari illegal mining and export scam as an election liability.

from:  r n iyengar
Posted on: Sep 9, 2012 at 19:03 IST

sir,this is an absurd choice from an old man.In that way I am also an old man over 80 years! It would be better for the old people to keep quiet? I feel that BJP as a party in our Parliament has done a great damage in recent years!

from:  c.g.venkatesan
Posted on: Sep 9, 2012 at 18:01 IST

Endorsement by someone like Thackeray should tell all of us who or what Sushma
Swaraj is. Thinking and properly educated people know the kind of world we would
create if we elect Bal Thackeray.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Sep 9, 2012 at 17:38 IST

Raj Thackrey is the communal personification . His party is fraught with communal perception and believe in spreading the communal riots across the nation. His statement is always fraught with peril. His action is always against the nationalistic interest and patriotic spirit . Congress goverment has been a mute spectator and looking for chance to get political mileage from this ongoing political gambit.. BJP party is not immature to be overtaken by any kind of blandishment or cajolery from MNS or Congress party

from:  SANJAY KUMAR SANU
Posted on: Sep 9, 2012 at 16:53 IST
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