New Delhi, Jan 28: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today made a strong pitch for the projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial nominee before the next general elections.
"Discussion over this has been going on for months. Wherever I go, the common people and party workers say they want Narendra Modi to be chosen as the BJP's prime minister candidate," he told newspersons here.
"After deliberating on the matter for long, I came to the conclusion that if BJP declares him as the prime minister candidate, it will make a huge difference to our electoral prospects," the former union minister said. He clarified that the party will take the final decision.
To queries about Modi's Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and the Janata Dal (United) opposing such a move, Sinha stressed that the JD(U) might be a long-time ally of the BJP but they should not target any individual.
"In a party, you cannot say that XYZ is secular while ABC is communal and hence we will go with XYZ and not with ABC. To pick and choose within the BJP is wrong," he said.
Sinha averred that in case circumstances are such that the JD(U) exits from the NDA, then other parties would become part of the alliance. The JD(U) should take a stand on Modi's candidature only after carefully looking at the options, he added.
Reacting to Sinha's comments, JD(U) leader Devesh Chandra Thakur pointed out that nothing has changed to warrant an opinion right now. "Our position is still the same. All constituents of the NDA have to meet and jointly decide on the PM candidate," Thakur said.
According to his party colleague Shivanand Tewari, there is no doubt that BJP's choice for prime minister will be the entire coalition's prime ministerial nominee. "What Yashwant Sinha is saying is not the BJP's official stand," he noted.