In an interview, he acknowledged there were "two alternative views" within BJP on the issue and that the decision to annoint Modi as the party's face for next general election was taken by "an overwhelming majority in the party" keeping in view "larger interests".
"There can be two alternative views available in a party. But the party has to factor in larger public interests. The collective wisdom of not only a majority but an overwhelming majority, the groundswell was that we take decision.
"We weighed all possible options. We weighed the opinion of our supporting constituency and cadres...We cannot defy the opinion of our rank and file or even that of our supporting constituency. When the party takes a decision, you have to factor in what is the collective wisdom, what is the pull coming from cadres and supporting constituency," Jaitley said.
The BJP leader said that most of his partymen feel that the next general election "besides being an anti-incumbency election is also a leadership referendum and here Modi does give us an advantage."
"We had a choice between postponing a decision, facing a criticism that we are unable to decide or taking a winning decision and we have taken a winning decision. Advaniji being a seasoned and senior politician will eventually support every decision that the party has taken," he said.
Jaitley, however, refused to answer questions about the possibility of dropping Modi and the party settling with somebody more acceptable to allies after elections if it failed to get the required numbers, saying, "I am not going exercise the option of discussing any hypothetical situation."
He said, "At the moment, my strategy, my party's strategy is that we win maximum number of seats" and reminded that Modi has left others by miles behind in the popularity chart of all opinion polls.