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No succession plan in BJP: Khanduri

Amid speculation about the rising stature of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in BJP, a senior BJP leader said there was no succession plan in the party.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2008 12:16 IST

Amid speculation about the rising stature of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in BJP, a senior BJP leader on Sunday said there was no succession plan in the party.

"There is no succession plan. The term succession is not an appropriate thing to say. We are a democratic party. People take their places as per the performance, party wishes and all those things," Uttarakhand Chief Minister BS Khanduri told PTI in Bangalore.

However, Khanduri, who is here for the BJP national executive meeting, said in BJP, people come up both at national and state level based on performance, and Modi has performed "very well" and could be one of "the key contenders".

"Therefore, in his own right, he (Modi) can claim to be one of the top leaders in the country and in BJP. Who comes up, I cannot say and cannot predict. But I am sure whoever is capable of the lot, will come up in the due course. Certainly, Modi is one among them".

BJP yesterday sought to highlight the intervention made during the debate on political resolution at the national executive and later in the evening party's Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani showered praises on the Gujarat strongman in his rally which gave rise to speculation that it's part of a larger aim to promote the Gujarat Chief Minister, and position him as the top leader after Advani.

Khanduri also expects some of UPA allies to leave the ruling dispensation and join the NDA.

"You cannot rule it out (allies leaving UPA and joining NDA). It happened in the last elections in 2003-04. It can again happen," he said.

Khanduri said political scenario in the country is so fractured that some of the regional parties are only interested in their areas.

"They (regional parties) are not at national level. So, they have the freedom of taking an option (of joining hands with any national party) as far as national-level parties are concerned, as far as their agenda in their State is okay. Changeover (UPA allies switching to NDA) can take place," he said.

Khanduri said the performance of UPA has been "so dismal and lacklustre" that people of the country would like to have change and they have compared the performance during the NDA regime and the current dispensation at the Centre.

"NDA is only option today," Khanduri said, adding that the BJP and the saffron party-led combine has the history of running the government very successfully.