Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today asked the NDA to decide its prime ministerial candidate well in advance before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"There should be no confusion at the last moment. The election for the PM's post is due in April-May next. If at that time we are required to have a PM candidate, what is the harm in starting the discussion now ? All should come together and decide the candidate. What is the problem ?" Uddhav said.
He expressed these views in the concluding part of an interview to the party mouthpiece, "Saamana" published today.
"During the last Presidential elections, the NDA couldn't decide on a candidate till the last moment. There was no unanimity within NDA on the issue. At that time, when Sangma's name cropped up, Balasaheb said we won't support him but Pranab Mukherjee as he was the better candidate," Uddhav said.
Late Bal Thackeray had suggested Sushma Swaraj as the suitable PM candidate for NDA, Uddhav said. "If you have another name, please bring it forward, we will talk. But do that soon. Don't behave as you did during the Presidential poll," he added.
Thackeray had last year said he would back Swaraj as she was the only "deserving and brilliant" person who fitted the bill. "She's a savvy woman and will perform her job as Prime Minister in a forceful and decisive manner," the late Sena chief had said.
Last month, the Shiv Sena had thrown its weight behind Narendra Modi's prime ministerial ambitions. Sena leader Sanjay Raut had then told media, "We have no problem if Modi is declared as the NDA's PM candidate. Modi is definitely a strong leader. There is no doubt about that. Who to make the PM nominee will be NDA's decision, specially that of BJP, which is its largest party."