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Feb 03, 2013 at 09:52pm IST

Parliamentary Board will decide on PM candidate: BJP chief Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: The battle within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) continues and this time, it's been triggered by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) making a pitch for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Modi is likely to visit the Maha Kumbh Mela on Thursday as the VHP holds its Dharam Sansad or the congregation of saints and religious leaders, with a section pushing for the endorsement of Modi as the party's PM candidate.

The key NDA ally, Janata Dal (United), which is opposed to Modi, has questioned the entire exercise even while insisting on an early declaration of NDA's PM candidate.

A section in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retorted strongly to the JD(U)'s demand, with some even challenging the ally with which the BJP runs its government in Bihar, to break away. However, party president Rajnath Singh is trying the calm things down, and is doing the balancing act.

If Modi is all set to be inducted in the central Parliamentary Board, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan could also find a place in the top decision making body. As for the party's choice for the PM candidate, Rajnath has insisted that it will indeed be decided by the central Parliamentary Board.

The jostling within the BJP and the NDA has picked up with the election of Rajnath Singh as the party president in January. With the JD(U) having spelt out clear reservations on Modi, the Shiv Sena has endorsed Sushma Swaraj's name.