Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Saturday urged the BJP to let Narendra Modi continue unhindered as Gujarat chief minister till 2017.
"Narendra Modi has publicly declared that he has no prime ministerial ambition. He has been given public mandate to rule Gujarat till 2017 and would continue to serve the people of that state," Thackeray said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece "Saamna".
At a function in Gujarat September 5, Modi told a young school student that those who dreamt of becoming prime minister were often destroyed.
"Instead of harbouring such dreams, I think it is more important to achieve something for the country," said Modi, who has been made the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Thackeray lauded Modi for his stance.
He, however, said that though the Gujarat strongman had probably succeeded in satisfying the curiosity of the school student on the issue, "but how will he explain this to the BJP big bosses who are bent upon declaring him as the next PM candidate?"
He said many in the BJP feel that under Modi's stewardship, the party could achieve the target of winning 272 Lok Sabha seats in the next parliamentary elections.
Now, he said, Modi has decided not to step out of Gujarat till 2017 and brought his own "prime ministerial horse" to a sudden halt.
There are several ground realities and political permutations and combinations even within the BJP which have prevented the party from declaring his candidature for the top executive post so far, Thackeray said.
"There are many who have dreamt of occupying the top post but failed to achieve it. Even Sharad Pawar had announced his candidature on several occasions in the past but suddenly backtracked. Now, Modi has done the same," Thackeray said.
On the other hand, the Shiv Sena president said, those who never dreamt of occupying the top post were catapulted there -- like Rajiv Gandhi, Chandrashekhar, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral and Manmohan Singh.
"Modi has learnt these lessons of history. Now, who will teach the same lessons to BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, Balbir Punj and others," Thackeray wondered.