More support on Saturday poured in from within BJP for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate with senior leaders Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu saying they would be happy to see him in the top post.
However, both Jaitley and Naidu made it clear that Advani is the party's prime ministerial candidate for the current Lok Sabha poll.
Jaitley, BJP general secretary, told reporters in Vadodara that he would be very happy if party leader Arun Shourie's wish that Modi could be Prime Minister in future comes true.
"Modi has ruled Gujarat state which has now become role model for other states in the country," Jaitley said echoing Shourie's views yesterday.
"I along with other BJP workers will be very happy if Shourie's wish (Modi could be Prime Minister in future) comes true," he said when asked to comment on colleague Shourie's comment which he made on Friday in Ahmedabad.
"Modi has been working very hard for making Advani the Prime Minister of the country as he has been extensively touring various parts of the country and campaigning for the party," Jaitley said.
Asked if Shourie's remark about Modi becoming the Prime Minister in 2014 means that Advani would retire after this election, Jaitley replied "talk now about 2009 Lok Sabha poll. Rest we shall keep for later."
Shourie had yesterday said that people of Gujarat will have an opportunity to elect Prime Minister not only this time but in the next polls also, indicating that Modi could be next Prime Ministerial candidate.
Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah
Naidu today virtually favoured projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 but insisted that the party is focused on the current elections in which LK Advani is its nominee for the top post.
In Bangalore, when a reporter interjected to say that Modi is also a Prime Ministerial candidate, Naidu shot back: "He (Modi) is not a candidate. You (media) are making him a candidate."
But when it was pointed out BJP leaders Arun Shourie and Arun Jaitley are pitching for Modi, Naidu said the reference was to the 2014 responsibility. "We (projection of Modi as PM candidate in 2014) are happy about it".