RSS-BJP meeting begins with eye on PM candidate choice

RSS-BJP meeting begins with eye on PM candidate choice

RSS-BJP meeting begins with eye on PM candidate choice

Senior BJP leaders are taking part in the high-level "Samanvay Baithak (coordination meeting)" of the RSS that began here Sunday amid speculations that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could be declared the party's prime ministerial candidate in the coming days.

Sources said the two-day meeting is being attended by top functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

They said senior party leader L.K. Advani was not present at the meeting in the first few hours and joined it in the afternoon.

The meeting is being held against the backdrop of intense discussions in the party on the issue of naming Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.

Modi is heads the BJP's campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP has maintained that the decision on naming its prime ministerial candidate will be taken by the party's parliamentary board.

Sources said there are differing views in the party on projecting Modi as prime ministerial candidate. While a section wants him to be projected as the party's face for the general polls before elections to the five states assemblies later this year, another section wants the decision to be deferred till these elections were over.

"The meeting is likely to discuss the issue," a BJP leader said.

Sources said that a decision on Modi could be announced in the next 10 days.

The RSS has described the meeting as "routine" and said that views will be exchanged among various organisations affiliated to the Sangh.

RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya had said Saturday that issues relating to economy, national security and the society will be discussed at the meeting.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is likely to attend the coordination meeting Monday.

BJP sources said the meeting is being attended by party chief Rajnath Singh and other members of the BJP's parliamentary board, including Modi.

However, they said that Modi may not attend the meeting Monday due to prior engagements in Gujarat.