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Sushma only deserving BJP candidate for PM: Bal

There are still two years before the general elections in 2014, but the confusion within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the post of prime minister seem to be increasing. Till now, it was only Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi whose name was doing the rounds as the next prime ministerial candidate of the party. With Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackrey backing BJP leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj for the post, a new debate has commenced within the party.

In an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, Thackrey has said that at present she is the only deserving leader in the party and she will be a great choice for the post.'At present there is only one person who is intelligent, brilliant and  that is Sushma Swaraj,' Thackeray has said in the interview.

Thackrey also said Swaraj would deliver a great performance if she is the prime minister of the country. The BJP, however, did not spell out its stand on whether the candidature of Swaraj is supported by the party. 'The BJP has many leaders who are competent to become the Prime Minister and are acceptable in the country, a decision on this will be taken by the BJP and other NDA partners at the time of elections,' said BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Swaraj had recently met Bal Thackrey on the issue of coal block allocation. It is for the first time that Swaraj's name has been thrown in the ring by a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally and that too against Modi, with whom she does not enjoy cordial relations. During the party's national conventional in Mumbai in May, Swaraj had skipped the rally which was addressed by Narendra Modi. Earlier also the BJP leader of opposition in Lok Sabha had said that the magic of Modi does not work every where. This was in 2010 and was countered by a Modi supporter in an advertisement which said that Modi is the top crowd puller within the BJP.

In the interview, Thackeray has also slammed the BJP for no unity within the party at the centre, and attacked it for not being able to oppose Muslims who are enjoying power in the Bihar government. 'Where were the people who paralysed the Lok Sabha after the riots? The MNS protested strongly after the atrocities, and we supported Raj Thackrey,' said the Sena chief on the Azad Maidan riots. Thackrey also attacked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and said that if the chief minister does not want to arrest criminals then he should at least ensure that they do not go to Maharashtra.

Though Thackrey predicted that the Lok Sabha elections will be held much before time as that both the UPA government and the country, are on the brink of anarchy, he expressed  surprised over senior BJP leader L K Advani’s recent prediction that the next government may be formed by a non-NDA, non-UPA front.

On the question of the relation between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, Thackeray said: 'Now I can’t use the word strong. Thinking has changed, there are personal animosities, animosities between the parties. NDA of the past had a leader like Vajpayee, now there is no such leadership. But I am talking about NDA, not BJP.'
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