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Don't comment on BJP's PM candidate: Rajnath Singh to partymen

Posted on Feb 04, 03:11PM | UNI

New Delhi, Feb 4 : Amid growing clamour within the party to make Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the next general elections scheduled to be held in 2014, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh today asked the partymen not to comment or speculate on the issue.

''I appeal to all the BJP leaders not to comment on the party's prime ministerial candidate. It is the BJP tradition that the candidate for the PM and CM post are decided by the party's Parliamentary Board,'' Mr Singh told reporters here.

''If any decision is to be taken on PM candidature, only the Parliamentary Board will decide. We should not speculate on this,'' he said.

The newly-elected BJP president said if the party leaders are asked to comment on the PM candidate, they must say that the Parliamentary Board will take a decision on the candidature.

Mr Singh said this would be his last appeal to party members on the issue.

His comment has come a day after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal said the Gujarat Chief Minister should be declared the PM candidate by the party.

Recently, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had said the party should declare Mr Modi as the PM candidate. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani had also endorsed his view.

However, NDA ally the Janata Dal (United) has said Mr Modi's name for PM candidate was not acceptable to them.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said earlier that the NDA's prime ministerial candidate should be a ''secular face''.

The Shiv Sena had earlier said senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj is its first choice for the prime ministerial candidate in 2014.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has said whoever the BJP and the NDA choose for the prime minister candidate, the party was with them.

There were reports suggesting that the Gujarat Chief Minister is all set to be inducted into the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party.

There were also reports that a ''big decision'' on Mr Modi is expected to be announced after the BJP president's meet with the RSS and VHP leaders at the ongoing Maha Kumbh in Allahabad.