Amid speculation about Narendra Modi's projection as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, party president Rajnath Singh on Sunday remained noncommittal on the issue but hailed the Gujarat chief minister as the "most popular leader in the nation".
Singh also expressed confidence that no ally of NDA including JD(U), which has been expressing reservations against Modi, will go out of the alliance.
He maintained that the final authority to take the decision regarding the party's prime ministerial candidate remains with the BJP Parliamentary Board, and added, "...only the board that will decide what parameters it adopts to decide about the PM candidate."
Referring to Modi, a top JD(U) leader had on Saturday said at the party's national executive meeting that "being popular is a different thing and becoming prime minister is another."
Singh said he was confident that "whatever decision the Parliamentary Board of BJP takes will not result into creation of any crisis. I can say it with confidence." The BJP president, however, evaded questions on whether he was suggesting that Modi may not be projected as PM candidate.
"I accept this that if there is someone, who is the most popular leader in the nation, it is Narendra Modi... whether it is the BJP cadre or common people, Modi is a very popular leader among them. Nobody can deny this " Singh told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
He was responding to queries like why Modi is not being projected as the BJP's PM candidate when he is considered best by a section in the party to take on Congress' Rahul Gandhi.
"I cannot say this that the fight will be between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi," the BJP president said.