New Delhi: In yet another indication that he is being groomed for a larger role, Gujarat Chief Minster Narendra Modi now has the open backing of senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. Sinha has pitched hard for Modi as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Yashwant Sinha said that the BJP will surge ahead if Modi is declared the PM candidate. He has also appealed key ally the JD(U) to back Modi's candidature instead of targeting him. BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi though told CNN-IBN that the views are Yashwant's individual views, and the official PM candidate will be decided by the NDA.
Speaking to reporters, Sinha had said, "There is a huge demand from our workers that Modi should be projected as the PM candidate and I also feel that if Modi is projected as the PM candidate, then the NDA will be in advantage."
When asked about a possible opposition from the JD(U), Sinha said, "They are our oldest ally. The JD(U) should not target only one person. Either we as a party are secular or communal. They should not pick and chose one person. Every party has full right to take their own decision. My personal view is that if the BJP projects Modi as the PM candidate, then they should just accept it without making an issue out of it."
Sinha continued, "If the JD(U) decides to part ways if Modi is declared PM candidate then they should make sure they have taken that stand after very careful consideration."
The JD(U), however, chose to react with caution. Party leader Devesh Chandra Thakur said, "I don't think Yashwant Sinha has challenged the JD(U). Our stand still remains the same. The PM candidate should be decided after a meeting of the NDA."
Shivanand Tiwari said, "We have already said the PM candidate should be from the BJP. Yashwant Sinha's statement is not the BJP's statement."