Bhopal, Sep 21: Lobbying for projecting senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next election intensified during the party's national executive meeting, which got underway here today.
Just prior to the inaugural function, senior BJP leader Ram Naik told reporters that party veteran L K Advani remained the 'logical choice' for the party's prime ministerial candidate.
Mr Naik's comment assumed importance particularly when former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was not attending the conclave on 'health grounds'.
Another senior leader Jaswant Singh said Mr Advani was the natural choice for prime ministership as the former Deputy Prime Minister worked along with Mr Vajpayee for over five decades. The party would continue to derive Mr Vajpayee's guidance, he added.
As usual, former BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu was vocal in projecting Mr Advani saying the opposition leader in the Lok Sabha was the natural claimant for prime ministership.
On the other hand, another former party chief Bangaru Laxman said Mr Vajpayee continued to be the claimant for prime ministership.
However, party spokesman Muktar Abbas Naqvi said leadership issue was not on the agenda during the three-day conclave, which would devote more time on crucial issues like security and Ram Setu issue.