Batting for Narendra Modi as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, suspended party leader Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday said the Gujarat chief minister is the "best" candidate for the post and "100% secular".
A file photo of senior BJP MP Ram Jethmalani.
"According to me Narendra Bhai is the most and the best Prime Minister for this country. Nothing has happened to change my mind...Modi in my definition of secularism is 100 per cent secular," Jethamalani said.
The noted lawyer said he had supported Modi as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate about a month back and expressed happiness over Yashwant Sinha supporting him on the issue.
"I don't believe that Yashwant Sinha has said anything to the contrary. He has supported my view and I am very happy that he has supported me. It lends greater credibility to what I have said," he said.
Attacking Modi's detractors for terming him as "communal", Jethmalani said, "His enemies and detractors have done their best to spoil his name by disseminating untruth and sometimes to my knowledge creating false evidence to support their false claim.
"I believe that he is impeccably secular and when I use the word best, it means better than all those who according to me are known aspirants of the job," he said.
The suspended party leader said the words 'secular' and 'communal' were more used as "words of abuse than political dialogue" and attacked those who had reservations on Modi's candidature, saying "those who use the words don't even understand its meaning, particularly the word secularism".
"They don't understand the 'S' of secularism and they keep talking about secularism," Jethmalani said.
He said in his opinion the party's Prime Ministerial candidate should be announced before elections as it was causing "serious inconvenience" to people.
"This is not consistent with democratic practice," he said.