New Delhi: A day after anointing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, BJP President Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that his party will get the winning numbers in 2014. He also assured allies that they'll get full participation once BJP forms the NDA government.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Rajnath on Saturday said, "We will have the numbers to form the government and we want to assure our allies that when the government is formed, they will have full participation."
However, when asked about Advani's absence from the Parliamentary Board meeting on Friday, Rajnath Singh refused to answer. The entire top leadership of the BJP garlanded and congratulated Modi on Friday with the notable exception of party patriarch LK Advani who skipped the Parliamentary board meeting in protest.
In fact, Advani wrote a letter to Rajnath Singh, expressing pain at the way he is running the party. Modi went to meet Advani immediately directly after his coronation as celebrations broke out in BJP offices across the country at the news of Modi's elevation.
Modi, after being anointed, said he will leave no stone unturned to work for the BJP's victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The question that many are asking now is as to whether the Modi brand will help the BJP get the numbers in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Shiv Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar said more regional parties will join the NDA. "After 1999, we had a coalition of 24 parties. Let me assure you that a number of regional parties and a number of other people will be joining the NDA fold," he said.
BJP MP Piyush Goyal added, "The anointment of Modi is a day of celebration for India. we have matured as a democracy. Different points from political parties can be heard. We don't have to depend on families."
However, experts seem to be raising doubts. Former Editor-in-Chief of national daily 'The Hindu' N Ram said, "We have to be objective about this. Look at the numbers. If the BJP gets 140 to 150 seats, it's virtually impossible to form a government. If it reaches 200, it has a sporting chance. But then, who will support it? The Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are likely, AIADMK probably, TDP possibly. But JD(U) and BSP are unlikely. Not TMC, not LEFT. Not DMK, which is with the Congress, not YSR Congress, not NCP or RLD. So where are they going to get the numbers from? What are we talking about?"
This even as Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar had in an earlier interview said that with Modi as the Prime Ministerial face, the party will get over 190 seats and will also well be able to get the support of fence sitters and 'secular' parties.