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BJP, RSS get down to discuss Narendra Modi as PM nominee

If the arrival and departure timing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Sunday from the coordination meeting between the affiliates of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP were indicator, politics did not figure for serious deliberation. Narendra Modi is the only Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state to have been invited for the two-day crucial meet which began on Sunday.

In the build-up for the meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had broken bread with Advani last week to make a decision on possibility of having Narendra Modi as party’s mascot for the forthcoming state and national polls. On Saturday Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh met top leaders of RSS to discuss the possible resistance to Modi’s elevation to the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

The Sangh on Saturday made it clear that the likelihood of the name being announced from its forum was remote with its apokesperson Manmohan Vaidya saying that they have conveyed their opinion to BJP and it was for the party to decide when to name and whom to name the candidate.

The meeting which began on Sunday had all prominent BJP leaders in attendance excepting Advani. The veteran joined the deliberations at around 3 pm amidst speculations that serious discussions on the crucial political decision would begin. However, the deliberation, sources said, meandered around ‘the role the 14-odd Sangh affiliates like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others would have in the larger context of the 2014 polls.’

That deliberations had lost political significance for the day was evident from the fact that the Gujarat chief minister decided to leave the venue by 4 pm, making it clear that no decision was coming at least on Sunday. However, sources said, that with Mohan Bhagwat all set to attend the meeting on Monday, a final call on naming Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate could be taken.

‘His (Modi) supporters like BJP president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley are pushing hard for the early announcement whereas Advani alongwith Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar are holding firm on keeping the announcement in abeyance till elections to the assemblies of four states of Hindi heartland were over in November,’ a source added.

The Advani axis has support of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan whereas Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and party leader in Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje is fence sitting.
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