Thackeray brings Sushma into reckoning

Thackeray brings Sushma into reckoning

With JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar opposed to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s candidature for the post of prime minister and BJP veteran L K Advani nudging 85, catching up with age, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, backed by Shiv Sena may emerge as NDA’s first choice for the top job.

After Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said that Swaraj would be the “most deserving” and “great choice” for the post of prime minister, a section of BJP leaders concurred with the views expressed by its Maharashtra ally.

“Yes, she can be NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, she has all the qualities to be the PM as Bala Sahab has said, she will be most deserving choice,” a senior BJP leader told Deccan Herald. Asked if there will be opposition to Sushma’s name within the party, the leader said: “As for opposition, that can be on anyone’s name, but building consensus on Sushmaji’s name will not be a problem.”

However, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was non-committal. “There are several leaders within the party having qualities to become prime minister, but the BJP will announce the name at an appropriate time after consulting alliance partners of the NDA.”

It is believed that the BJP, hoping to dislodge the Congress--led UPA government in next Lok Sabha elections, has several leaders harbouring prime ministerial ambitions like party president Nitin Gandkari, Advani and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, to name a few, besides Sushma and Modi.

Modi’s candidature to be the next PM has already been opposed by Bihar chief minister, who questioned his secular credentials.

However, octogenarian leader Advani has not made any announcement as for being in or out of the PM race despite, predicting on his blog last month that the next government may be formed by a non-NDA, non-UPA front.

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