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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Modi for PM pitch rises in BJP, Sena backs Sushma

PTI  New Delhi, January 29, 2013
First Published: 19:45 IST(29/1/2013) | Last Updated: 22:07 IST(29/1/2013)

The voices within the BJP pitching for Narendra Modi as party's prime ministerial candidate grew louder on Tuesday with two MPs Ram Jethmalani and CP Thakur backing him but discomfort among NDA allies was visible with Shiv Sena batting for Sushma Swaraj for the top post.

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A day after Yashwant Sinha said the Gujarat chief minister should be declared the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, eminent lawyer and party Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani said Modi is the best candidate and that he is "impeccably secular".

"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% secular," Jethamalani told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

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.

Sinha had said yesterday that announcing Modi's candidature would hugely benefit the BJP and increase its seat tally significantly in the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2014.

Media reports said former Bihar unit chief of BJP C P Thakur also reiterated his support for "Modi for PM".

While BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said party will take a decision at the appropriate time, NDA ally Shiv Sena appeared to have reservations about Modi.

"We feel Sushma Swaraj is the suitable candidate for the PM's post," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai.

Another ally JD(U) has already strongly indicated that it does not want Modi as the NDA's PM candidate.



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