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'Choosing PM candidate no problem for BJP'

BJP today said the issue of choosing a prime ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha elections was not a problem and would be done "within a fraction of a second" by the party when the time comes.

mumbai Updated: Nov 13, 2011 21:02 IST

BJP today said the issue of choosing a prime ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha elections was not a problem and would be done "within a fraction of a second" by the party when the time comes.

"It is not a problem for the party. Don't bother about that. Within a fraction of a second the party will decide and we will take the decision. It is not a problem.

Everyone is ready and whatever decision the party will take we will go by that. There is no problem for the party to decide who the leader is in 2014 or before that," BJP president Nitin Gadkari said in reply to a question. He was speaking at the World Economic Forum summit in Mumbai. Though Gadkari made light of the issue, BJP leaders appear to be far from convinced.

When L K Advani declared that he will undertake a yatra across the country on the issue of good governance and clean politics, many in the party, the RSS and outside felt he was pitching his case for becoming BJP's next Prime Ministerial candidate. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is said to be harbouring prime ministerial ambitions too and is reportedly unhappy with Advani for starting the yatra.

Gadkari may have ruled himself out but many feel that his decision to contest the next general elections- his first attempt at winning a direct poll- is to keep himself in the race. He has already said the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate should be from the Lok Sabha. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley are also in the race, among a host of second rung leaders in BJP.

Gadkari also appeared confident about BJP's performance in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. "We are in a better position and I am expecting good results from UP because there is a lot of reaction against present government among people which were its votebank. So, we are expecting that votebank," Gadkari said.

BJP had finished third behind BSP and SP in the last UP Assembly elections in 2007. "We are not talking about a majority but presently we are 110 to 125. But any day we will be in a good position compared to the position earlier. From earlier, we should be double or triple," Gadkari said.