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… decision after individual consultations with members of the Parliamentary Board.

‘Polarising leader’

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. “A socially polarising leader has polarised his own party. Can he run a smooth, stable and effective government at the Centre? think seriously!” Mr. Kulkarni tweeted.

“Elections are seven months away. People want a change. But who will provide the change? Leaders who are polarising the society?” Mr. Kulkarni told a news channel. He maintained that there was no unanimity in the party about the PM candidate. “Question does arise that can such a leader ensure a smooth government and peace in society,” he said.

Rahi Gaikwad reports from Patna:

Earlier in the day, in Patna, the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, criticised Mr. Advani for “failing” to understand public sentiment regarding Mr. Modi’s candidature for the PM post.

The BJP leader tweeted: “Advaniji has failed to gauge the public mood. Advaniji himself declared Atalji as PM candidate, now also he could have done the same for NaMo.”

Mr. Modi said Mr. Advani “should respect ‘janbhavana’ [public sentiment] and Narendra Modi should be declared the party’s PM candidate as soon as possible.” “Advaniji is our seniormost leader. If he were not there, Narendra Modi or Shivraj Chauhan would not have been able to become Chief Ministers. During his lifetime, he nurtured a second line of leadership in the BJP. We have organised around 11 rallies which have received a very good response. Not just the BJP workers and supporters, but the common man too, who is fed up with the Congress, sees the BJP and in that he sees Narendra Modi as the alternative,” he told reporters.