Advani firm on stand against Modi

Advani firm on stand against Modi

As the BJP gears up to name Narendra Modi the party’s prime ministerial candidate, patriarch L K Advani continues to resist the move despite party president Rajnath Singh’s fresh attempt to placate him on Wednesday.

Singh held a 30-minute meeting with Advani over the date for a parliamentary board meeting to announce Modi the 2014 poll mascot. Advani is of the view that a call on Modi’s fate should be taken after the Assembly elections.

Advani reportedly remained firm on his stand, despite the RSS backing Modi’s candidature. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had held a one-on-one meeting with him a week ago over the issue.  It is learnt that Rajnath Singh, having got a go-ahead from the RSS, is keen to end speculation over Modi’s candidature.

The BJP top brass is trying to work out a convenient date when the leaders can attend the parliamentary board meeting. It has to take place before September 19 when “Pitrapaksh,” the inauspicious days in the Hindu calendar, begins. Sources said the party is contemplating September 13 and September 16 as possible dates.

BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal has been told to find a suitable date before September 19. “A decision on the issue will be taken by the parliamentary board with as much consensus as possible,” spokesperson Sudanshu Trivedi told reporters. A formal decision on the date is yet to be taken, he added.

The party wants to take on-board Advani for Modi’s coronation. The party can hardly afford another stalemate with Advani, like the one at the Goa conclave earlier this year, where Modi was announced the poll campaign chief.

Former party president Nitin Gadkari also met Advani at his residence on Monday. Advani is believed to be of the view that the announcement should be made with consensus from top leaders, hinting at placating Sushma Swaraj and M M Joshi.
If Modi is not announced the prime ministerial candidate before September 19, the declaration has to be delayed till early next month, when auspicious days start again with Navratra. By then, state elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi will be announced.

The Advani camp believes that by deferring the announcement, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who is likely to emerge winner in the Assembly polls for the fourth time, can become a contender for the top slot.

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