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Modi as PM? Opinions in BJP differ

IANS [ Updated 20 Dec 2012, 17:28:20 ]
Modi as PM? Opinions in BJP differ

New Delhi, Dec 20: Even as it celebrated its victory in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was Thursday a divided house on whether Chief Minister Narendra Modi was a prime ministerial candidate.



BJP Rajya Sabha member Smita Irani came out in his favour, saying Modi, 62, would be her candidate for the country's top post on the strength of his governance in Gujarat.

Not everyone in the BJP appeared to agree -- or were as enthusiastic.

"(The Gujarat election) is not about PM candidate but about who wins in Gujarat," BJP leader Balbir Punj said. "Let us savour this moment."

Vijay Rupani, a BJP leader in Gujarat's Saurashtra region, added: "There are many able candidates in our party for the post of PM."

Seshadri Chari of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) echoed that view. "This election is not to elect a PM candidate."

In Ahmedabad, however, as news of the BJP's impending victory became known, supporters took to the streets shouting "Aaj ka CM, 2014 ka PM!"

Most pundits feel that a landslide win in Gujarat could propel Modi to play a major role in national politics although he has consistent stated that he is only interested in "serving" the state.