Modi as PM candidate: RSS and BJP finally seem to agree

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 10 2013, 08:20am hrs
RSS and BJP on Monday appeared to have reached a consensus on projecting Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate and a meeting of BJP's highest decision-making body, parliamentary board, is expected next week to make the announcement.

The decision to formally declare Modi's candidature is understood to have been taken despite reservations of senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, who wanted the announcement to be postponed till after the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

After a two-day meeting of the top leadership of the Sangh Parivar which concluded in the evening, there were indications that a go-ahead has been given for projecting the Gujarat chief minister and the decision will be announced by BJP by September 19.

Besides RSS and BJP, the meeting was attended by leaders of 13 affiliates of the the Sangh Parivar such as

the VHP.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and VHP leader Praveen Togadia attended the meeting on Monday, while Modi and Advani attended the meeting on Sunday.

Sources said the BJP is expected to convene a meeting of the parliamentary board sometime between September 13 and 19 to take a final call on the PM candidate issue.

Reports that Modi and other parliamentary board members will be in Delhi on September 14 has led to murmurs that the meeting may be convened on that day. Modi will address a BJP rally in Rewari, Haryana the next day.

However, if the Board is not able to meet on September 14, it is likely to meet before September 20 when the inauspicious pitrapaksh period starts.

Efforts are reportedly

under way to ensure that

the announcement coincides with Modi's birthday on September 17.

RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya sought to downplay the differences in BJP over the issue.

If there is any turmoil (on the issue), it was not visible here, he said when asked if there is any turmoil in the party on Modi's candidature.

In a bid to convince Advani and Swaraj, RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi had met them separately last week. This was followed by a dinner meeting among Bhagwat, Advani and Swaraj.

On Saturday last, Vaidya had said RSS has already made its position clear on the key issue and it was for BJP to take a decision.

The Sangh has already made its position clear. Sangh has already informed the party. The party knows it. It is for the party to decide who to declare and when to decide so. I will not say this here, Vaidya had said on the projection of Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate.