In an oblique hint, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat today appeared to back Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate but said the party will be responsible for the consequences of its decision.
Speaking at the VHP 'dharma sansad', a gathering of religious leaders, he referred to the clamour for Modi as PM candidate at the meet and also elsewhere.
Without referring to the Gujarat Chief Minister by name, Bhagwat said, "People know what is in your heart. The whole country is echoing with the same voice.
"And that is why we should not interfere in what should be done. They (BJP) will have to take a decision on what is to be done..... Whatever we may say, those who should do it, it is their right. We should allow them to do it. If what they do comes out wrong, then we should let them eat the fruits as well."
Bhagwat was speaking after some sants spoke out in favour of BJP announcing Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate in the last elections.
At the same time, BJP chief Rajnath Singh, in Chennai, parried questions on the issue, maintaining that the BJP Parliamentary Board will decide the issue at an appropriate time.
Earlier, when asked by reporters what he thought of Modi, Bhagwat said, "He is my friend".
A section of BJP leaders have demanded that Modi be declared as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate. VHP leader Giriraj Kishore also joined the Modi-for PM chorus saying like Gujarat the whole country can benefit from his leadership as there has been tremendous development in the state under his rule.
The meeting today saw some people in the audience raising slogans in support of Modi as religious leaders gave their speeches. Bhagwat and VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Parveen Togadia tried to pacify them with the RSS chief saying that the Sangh Parivar was "well aware of the people's wishes".
Togadia and Singhal requested that the 'dharma sansad' be allowed to remain focused on its agenda.
Raising the Ayodhya issue in his address, Bhagwat said that the RSS was fully committed to construction of Ram Temple at Ramjanmbhoomi.