More than a month after BJP president Nitin Gadkari told HT that the party would go to polls in 2014 under “collective leadership” and take a decision on its Prime Ministerial candidate only after that, the BJP sought to nuance the position on Wednesday.
Asked about who would be the party’s candidate, senior leader Sushma Swaraj said, “At an appropriate time, the parliamentary board of the party will meet to decide if the party would project a PM candidate for the polls or not. If it decides to project a candidate, we will let you know in 24 hours of a decision being taken. We understand your inquisitiveness since this speculation makes for juicy stories…”
There has been intense speculation as regards who would lead the party after the announcement of LK Advani’s rath yatra —seen as his attempt to project himself as the frontrunner —and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day fast for harmony.
There are many probables for the top post—Advani, Modi, Sushma, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and even Nitish Kumar—in NDA, and there is already widespread perception of a power struggle within BJP and NDA over who would emerge winner in this race.
Nitin Gadkari’s stand was believed to be formulated with a view to stem infighting and keep all hopefuls on their toes to ensure a good performance for the party in the next election.