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Apr 15, 2013 at 10:03pm IST

NDA divided over Modi; will Advani be the consensus PM candidate?

New Delhi: The tussle over talk of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's PM candidature is threatening to split the NDA wide open. A day after JD(U) leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar virtually vetoed Modi, a section of the Bihar BJP is now pushing for a break with the JD(U) - but in a bid to buy some time, BJP president Rajnath Singh has asked partymen to wait till December.

Meanwhile, there is now a growing chorus within the BJP for LK Advani as the PM candidate, with Yashwant Sinha and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan batting for the 'Lauha Purush'.

A section within the party is comparing the current tussle with the 1980 dual membership issue when those affiliated to the RSS in the then Janata Party formed the BJP.

While the section seeking to enlarge BJP's political footprint before the 2014 general polls is advocating a cautious approach - this group wants expansion of the NDA - and political dialogue with parties keeping in view post-poll requirements in a hung Parliament, senior party leaders like Yashwant Sinha are alluding towards alternative names, especially that of party patriarch LK Advani.

Nitish Kumar has now squarely put the ball in the BJP's court, taking into account the differences within the BJP. He will now allow the internal dynamics of his ally to take over from here onwards.

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