Millennium Post
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RSS puts ball in BJP court

After a two-day meeting in Delhi, the RSS and the BJP on Monday appeared to have a reached a consensus on projecting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. However, there is no clarity yet on when that announcement will be made.

Making it amply clear that Modi is the choice of the Sangh, RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the prime ministerial issue was not discussed in the meeting as there is no confusion on the choice of the candidate.

‘There might be confusion outside, not inside,’ said Vaidya. The RSS spokesperson also said that declaration of the candidate’s name is an internal matter of the BJP and it is up to the party to decide when they will take a decision on the matter.

Sources said BJP is expected to convene a meeting of the Parliamentary Board sometime between 13 and 19 September to take a final call on the PM candidate issue. Reports that Modi and other Parliamentary Board members will be in Delhi on 14 September has led to expectation that the meeting may be convened on that day. Modi will address a BJP rally in Rewari the next day.

However, if the Board is not able to meet on 14 September, it is likely to meet before 20 September when the inauspicious ‘pitrapaksh’ period starts. Efforts are reportedly underway to ensure that the announcement coincides with Modi’s birthday on 17 September.

The decision to formally declare Modi’s candidature is understood to have been taken despite reservations of senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, who wanted the announcement, at least, to be postponed till after the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

Besides RSS and BJP, the two day meeting was attended by leaders of 13 affiliates of the Sangh Parivar like VHP. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and VHP leader Praveen Togadia attended the meeting on Monday, while Modi was present on Sunday.

In the meeting BJP leader Sushma Swaraj spoke on youth and women issues while Arun Jaitley spoke on the internal and external security issues and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi spoke on the economic situation in the country.
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