A decision will be taken only after consulting Nitish Kumar, he says
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday claimed there was no divide in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the issue of its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 parliamentary polls and said a decision would be taken only after consulting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is reportedly opposed to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi filling the slot.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari dismissed reports of a growing split in the NDA on Mr. Modi being the candidate for the top post.
“I have promised Nitish Kumar that he will be consulted before a decision is taken. I have discussed at length the Modi issue with Nitish. At an appropriate time, we’ll decide on the PM candidate and that will happen only after talks with Nitish Kumar,” Mr. Gadkari said in an interview to Headlines Today.
Mr. Gadkari broke his silence on the Nitish-Modi rift, senior leader L.K. Advani’s controversial statements and his own handling of the party which has come under the scanner. He said that as far as he was concerned, there was no problem with Mr. Kumar or Mr. Modi being projected as the face of NDA in the 2014 elections.
No decision yet
“Modi is one of the six Prime Ministerial candidates of the BJP along with Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and M.M. Joshi. No decision has been taken yet,” he said.
He refuted reports that after Gujarat elections, Mr. Modi will be projected as Chairman, National Campaign Committee of the NDA.
Asked if Mr. Kumar’s choice for Prime Minister is Mr. Advani, he said: “I don’t know what is on Nitish’s mind regarding Advani. He has not mentioned any name to me.”
Mr. Gadkari described Advani as his ‘philosopher and guide’ but dismissed the BJP veteran’s ‘non-Cong, non-BJP PM in 2014’ prophecy.