Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a staunch proponent of Hindutva, was today anointed BJP's Prime Ministerial (PM) candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, ending months of suspense over his elevation amid stiff opposition by party patriarch L K Advani.
The announcement was made by BJP chief Rajnath Singh after a meeting of the party's Parliamentary Board which was skipped by L K Advani who expressed "anguish" over the way the party functioning.
Except L K Advani, the meeting of the 12-member Board was attended by other leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
The decision on Narendra Modi came on a day of fast-paced developments and back-to-back meetings and last minute efforts to bring around L K Advani, Joshi and Swaraj.
Making the announcement, Rajnath Singh said the decision had been taken by the Parliamentary Board as per the party's tradition.
The party had announced its Prime Ministerial candidate in 2009 elections also, he noted at a press conference here.
Modi, who will turn 63 next Tuesday, said he will work tirelessly to ensure that BJP wins the 2014 elections.
Giving a slogan "nayi sonch, nayi ummeed" (new thinking, new hope), he said the party will work for good governance and development while fighting against corruption and price rise.
Touching a sour note, an upset Advani released a letter written to the party chief almost at the same time when announcement about Modi was made.
"This afternoon when you had come to my residence to inform me about the Parliamentary Board meeting, I had said something about my anguish as also my disappointment over your style of functioning," the BJP veteran said in the two-para letter.
"I had told you that I will think whether I should share my thoughts with other Board members or not. Now I have decided that it is better that I do not attend today's meeting," he wrote.
Modi, flanked by Rajnath Singh, Joshi, Swaraj, Jaitley, Ananth Kumar