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BJP won't have prime ministerial candidate

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2011 10:07 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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BJP-president-Nitin-Gadkari-offering-sweets-to-children-after-unfurling-the-National-Flag-on-the-occasion-of-65th-Independence-Day-in-New-Delhi

In a major change of its electoral policy, the BJP has decided not to project any of its leaders as a prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha polls due in 2014.

The party has instead decided to showcase a collective team comprising all its top leaders, BJP president Nitin Gadkari told HT.

He said this approach would ensure that the entire opposition's energies are channelised to tap what he described as "the growing public mood against the Congress".

BJP strategists said this approach would prevent a race among its top leaders in the run-up to the polls.

By keeping the leadership issue at bay, the party would be able to ensure that everyone works for the BJP's success and would prevent rival parties from rousing an anti-BJP sentiment as witnessed in the 2004 and 2009 elections, they said.

Denying that the absence of a single face would be a handicap, Gadkari said, "Our strength lies in the unity of the party and its experienced leaders and thousands of workers. There is no dearth of able leaders to take up the top job as and when we get the mandate."

"Elections can take place any time. The government appears to be on the brink and it is difficult for it to drag on till 2014. One thing is clear: it's not going to get any better for the Congress," Gadkari said.

He also does not see the possibility of any NDA leader being projected as the next prime minister "at this stage".