Janata Dal (U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also NDA convenor, spurned the talk of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candiate. He said it did not augur well for the BJP to speak like this after projecting L.K. Advani as its PM candidate.
“There is no vacancy (in the PM post). The NDA has decided that Advani is its candidate,” Yadav said.
This is the first clear indication from a key NDA ally that Modi is unacceptable for the top post.
When a reporter said BJP leaders were of the view that Modi could be the party’s PM candidate in the next general elections, he said: “Who knows what will happen after 100 years. It is not necessary to say all these things now.”
The talk of Modi being in line for the top post resurfaced three months after India Inc anointed him PM and the BJP rushed to clarify that Advani remained its candidate.
In sharp contest to the position they took in mid-January, many BJP leaders are now no longer shying away from praising Modi as PM material.
Arun Shourie, who initiated the talk this time, and Arun Jaitely who have backed Modi’s candidature, see no reason to go backfoot on this issue.
On Saturday, former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat came out in support of Modi, saying his name has been suggested for the post because he deserves it. He, however, quickly added that Advani’s significance in the party has not diminished in any way.