PM candidature an advance birthday gift for Modi this year?

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New Delhi, Sept 9: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could get an advance birthday gift this year with sources saying that he is likely to be named as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls a few days ahead of his 64th birthday on September 17.

Things were indicative of the development after senior leaders of the BJP and RSS met here for a two-day meeting starting on Sunday to evolve a coherent strategy ahead of the next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said an announcement on Modi is likely after the BJP parliamentary board meets within a week's time. The RSS top brass has been trying to make the BJP reach an agreement on Modi's candidature. The party is split over the timing of the announcement with senior leaders like LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj in favour of declaring Modi as the PM candidate after the assembly elections scheduled this year get over.

The RSS has left it to BJP president Rajnath Singh to take a call on the date

Other leaders and also the RSS want the announcement to be made immediately. The RSS has left it to BJP president Rajnath Singh to take a call on the date of the announcement.

Advani and Swaraj felt that Modi's elevation should not come into the way of state issues and could give an advantage to the Congress if it so happens before the state polls.

Others like Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley think that the mood and enthusiasm in favour of Modi across the nation make it an ideal time to declare him as the prime ministerial candidate. They feel delaying more could hit the BJP's poll prospects. The BJP also doesn't want the decision to come after the inauspicious pitripaksh sets in from September 20 and the state poll schedules are announced around the same period.

On Sunday, Advani attended the crucial meet only in the second half, raising speculations in various quarters.

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