New Delhi, Dec 10: Senior BJP leader L K Advani was today officially named as BJP's prime ministerial candidate. The decision was taken at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board, party's apex decision making body, here this evening, chaired by party president Rajnath Singh.
Announcing the decision at a press conferene, Mr Singh said it was former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee's desire that Mr Advani should lead the party in the next Lok Sabha election.
Mr Singh said that Mr Vajpayee wanted to be relieved of the responsibility to lead the party owing to health reasons. The BJP President said he had informed Parliamentary Board about Mr Vajpayee's message in which he had said because of health reasons, it is difficult for him to lead the party in the next parliamentary election. It is better that a person like Mr Advani be asked to lead the party...." "The Board unanimously approved the name of Mr Advani," Mr Singh said.
The BJP president said it was very important to decide a successor to Mr Vajpayee as the party was anticipating early Lok Sabha election keeping in view the infighting within UPA over the Nuclear Deal and other issues.
In a brief message, Mr Advani, while thanking the party and Mr Vajpayee for reposing faith in him, said that he would pray to God to help him live up to the expectations of the party.