Sena says many fit to be PM

Party had reservations over Modi's candidature

Sena says many fit  to be PM

Notwithstanding the Janata Dal-United walking out of the NDA fold, BJP’s poll campaign chief Narendra Modi’s progression as the party's mascot for the 2014 general election will be a difficult task, with ally Shiv Sena sticking to its stand that there are a “lot of credible people” for prime-ministerial candidature.

Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray, who is in the national capital and addressed India Inc at an Assocham function, told reporters on Friday,  “We have a lot of credible people. Have some patience. We will definitely show you the face.”

Even while attacking the UPA government in his address on Friday, Udhav left open the choice of the face that could lead India in 2014.

“The country needs a reliable face. Can you find one face who fits? Can you see one? Since we cannot see a clear face, let us elect a strong government,” Thackeray told the gathering, which also had BJP leaders among the spectators.

The Shiv Sena’s view is unlikely to please a section of the BJP top brass that more or less believes Modi will automatically qualify for the slot in the run-up to the polls.
The Shiv Sena has had reservations over Modi’s candidature since Balasaheb had expressed that his choice for the PM candidate was Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Late last month, Modi, after his elevation was announced at the Goa conclave, had met Uddhav during a visit to Mumbai, which was seen as an attempt to pacify an ally that had taken exception to his move to airlift only Gujaratis stuck in flood-affected Uttarakhand.

“When Modi is being projected as a likely prime-ministerial candidate, it is detrimental to take a stance that he only thinks for the people of Gujarat,” the Sena chief had said in an editorial of his party's mouthpiece Saamana.  After meeting Modi, however, Uddhav had toned down his attack by clarifying that he was not against Modi but “the shoddy way in which his work is being publicised by his propaganda machinery”.

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