Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh has said that his party has reached a consensus on who its prime ministerial candidate will be, but has stopped short of naming the person.
In an interview given to a television channel in New York, Singh, who is on a nearly week-long visit to the United States, said there was no need for speculating on the issue. The name of the individual would be announced at the appropriate time, he added.
Though the name of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is actively doing the rounds, the BJP is reluctant to formalise it currently, as it anticipates the ruling Congress Party making political capital out of it in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.
Modi's detractors have already accused him of being a divisive and communal figure, while within the BJP too, there are opponents who themselves habour prime ministerial ambitions of their own.
Modi has also done himself no favours by making a string of controversial statements that seemed strategically designed to polarise the pro-Hindutva vote and stir a communal versus secular debate.