Shatrughan Sinha defies BJP President's gag order to avoid commenting on PM candidate
Patna, Feb. 4 : Despite Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh asking his partymen not to comment on the 2014 prime ministerial candidate, actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha on Monday appeared to be in tune with party veteran Yashwant Sinha on the 2014 prime ministerial candidate, and said it would be better if the party takes a final call on it prior to the Lok Sabha polls.
"Yashwant Sinha is like my elder brother; I respect him and agree with him in principle. He is a committed leader and a scholar. I am fully in agreement with his view that party should declare its candidate for the Prime Minister's post," he told media here.
Sinha, however, played safe on the advisory issued by Rajnath Singh.
"Rajnath Singh is my friend and also the party chief. If he has said this, then I agree with him. At times, naming the prime ministerial candidate goes in favour, and at times, it goes against depending on the political circumstances. But, I believe it is better if the prime ministerial candidate is named now," he said.
Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh had asked his partymen not to comment or speculate on the 2014 prime ministerial candidate.
"I appeal to all leaders of the BJP not to speculate on the prime ministerial candidate. This is a tradition of the BJP not to comment or project anyone as the chief ministerial or the prime ministerial candidate. Who to field as the candidate, what to do and other decisions are made by the Central Parliamentary Board, so if any such question is posed to any member, then they should make it clear that the Central Parliamentary Board will take a decision," said Singh.
"The appeal I am making to the party members is because if party members make comments, we face problems. After today, I will not make an appeal again. This is what I would like to tell my party members," he added.
Speculations has been rife that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who secured an electoral hat-trick in Gujarat in December last year, can spearhead the BJP's campaign in 2014 polls.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani have last month openly endorsed Modi's name as prime ministerial candidate. The other BJP leaders have been so far evasive on this issue.
NDA allies like the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) have indicated that Modi's name is not acceptable to them.
The Shiv Sena had earlier said that Sushma Swaraj is its first choice for the prime ministerial candidate in 2014.