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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

RSS chief talks Modi with Advani, Sushma

Shekhar Iyer and Vikas Pathak , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 07, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(7/9/2013) | Last Updated: 09:05 IST(7/9/2013)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj over dinner to discuss the elevation of Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate, amid indication that a decision on its timing — before or after the next round of assembly polls in five states — could be firmed up over next week.

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Advani is said to have suggested to the RSS chief that before any decision is taken, the leadership of the poll-bound BJP-ruled states be consulted and taken on board.

Bhagwat chose to speak to Advani and Swaraj two days ago as they are still not board on Modi's proposed elevation before the state polls The RSS chief is said to have indicated talks before Modi's formal projection even as a conclave of BJP and RSS leaders is due to discuss the issue in Delhi on September 8 and 9.

Sources close to Swaraj debunked the buzz of her mulling the possibility of quitting as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha in the event of Modi's elevation, stating that she had not conveyed any such thing in her discussion with the RSS leaders, including Sangh's deputy chief Bhaiyya Joshi who had met Advani and her on September 1.

Senior BJP leaders who are in favour of early projection of the Gujarat chief minister said the timing of Modi's elevation won't be delayed "beyond a point" though everyone's views would be considered by the party and the RSS. A senior BJP leader, who is close to Modi, said "things are under control" for a decision before September 20.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan dubbed as "baseless" the reports that he had reservations on Modi being projected as the BJP's PM candidate.

On Friday, BJP chief Rajnath Singh, who is for Modi's early elevation, said the criticism of Modi had spiked after he was made the party's campaign committee chief.

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