After Gadkari, Rajnath meets Advani on Modi’s candidature

After Gadkari, Rajnath meets Advani on Modi's candidatureNEW DELHI: BJP chief Rajnath Singh today met senior party leader L K Advani in a bid to make him agree to Narendra Modi’s candidature as the party’s Prime Ministerial nominee ahead of the next general election, but appears to have got no assurance of his support on the issue.

The BJP President had a 30-minute meeting at Advani’s residence today afternoon on the issue which the Parliamentary Party chief is opposed to. Advani had announced his resignation from all BJP posts immediately after Modi was anointed as head of the party’s election Campaign Committee, but was convinced by RSS to withdraw it.

However, indications are that Singh’s efforts in convincing Advani on Modi’s candidature have not borne fruit as the BJP patriarch has not given any assurance on it.

While stepping up efforts on the issue of announcing Modi’s name, former BJP President Nitin Gadkari had met Advani as an emissary of RSS yesterday. Gadkari left for Nagpur yesterday itself to convey Advani’s thinking to RSS, which has its headquarters there.

Gadkari visited Advani at his residence here and held a short meeting with the senior leader to convince him on Modi’s name and agree to a date for convening a meeting of the Parliamentary Board before September 17, party sources said.

Advani, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and Murli Manohar Joshi reportedly have reservations on declaring Modi as the PM candidate before the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had last month held a dinner meeting with Advani and Swaraj to discuss this issue. Earlier, RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi had also met Advani and Swaraj separately to convince them on Modi.

It is not clear whether Advani has had a change of heart. However, the decision on when to hold the Parliamentary Board meeting is still hanging fire, the sources said.

Consensus on a suitable date when all members of BJP’s highest decision-making body are present is being worked out.

While BJP and RSS top brass have indicated that any delay in announcing Modi as the PM candidate will not be good for the party, efforts are on for a unanimous decision after taking Advani, Swaraj and Joshi on board.

Modi’s supporters in the BJP top brass are keen that the announcement be made before his birthday on September 17. -PTI

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