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BJP backs Sushma's view on Modi as PM

NEW DELHI, Dec 2, 2012, DHNS: 1:44 IST
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At a time when the BJP is reluctant to project a prime ministerial candidate before the next general election, party’s senior leader Sushma Swaraj’s statement on Saturday that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was “fit” for the job has found an echo among other leaders as well.

“Narendra Modi is capable of becoming prime minister and I am satisfied with Sushma Swaraj’s opinion... He has potential of becoming prime minister,” agreed BJP senior leader Gopinath Munde while speaking to reporters in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Another party leader Arun Jaitley, who is himself a contender for the top slot, did not say that Modi is PM material, but stated that the Gujarat chief minister is “very successful and popular and we will obviously praise him”.

During an election rally held in Vadodara on Saturday, Sushma Swaraj had told reporters that Modi is “definitely fit for the job (of prime minister) and there is no doubt about it”.

Earlier BJP president Nitin Gadkari had said that the party has many leaders, including Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath SIngh who have the potential to become the prime minister of the country. However, he has not singled out any of these leaders as the party’s future prime ministerial candidate.

Leaders circumspect

However, many in the BJP are circumspect of projecting Hindutva poster boy Modi as future prime minister as it would make it difficult for the party to retain partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), specially Janata Dal (United) which has strong reservation with hardline views of the Gujarat chief minister.

JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has openly voiced his views that a person with secular credentials should become prime minister if the NDA is voted to power. And he has threatened time and again that he would walk out of the largest opposition alliance if Modi was projected as prime minister candidate.

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