NaMo as PM candidate: RSS chief tries to unite BJP on timing of call

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New Delhi, Sept 6: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reportedly engaged in a dinner diplomacy to build a united stand in the BJP over the timing of announcing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Reports said Bhagwat met senior party leaders like Lal Krishna Advani and Sushma Swaraj to break the ice in a bid to bring together the divided BJP.

The party has been gradually elevating Modi in its ranks but it hit a block over the timing of his candidature for the top post. While a section including Modi himself is in favour of taking the call before the assembly elections due in a few months, another section wants the decision to be taken after the polls. The recent controversy over the letter of former Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara in which he criticised Modi and his close aide Amit Shah has put the party leadership in a bigger dilemma on taking the crucial call.

Rajnath, Advani, Sushma & Jaitley are equally divided on the call, said sources

Besides Bhagwat, top RSS leader Bhaiyaji Joshi also met Advani and Swaraj earlier this week to discuss the same issue. BJP president Rajnath Singh was also present at the meeting and met Bhagwat separately earlier to take up the issue. Sources said the the top four decision-makers in the party, namely, Advani, Swaraj, Singh and Arun Jaitley are equally divided on the issue.

On Thursday, Modi said during interacting with school students in Gandhinagar on the occasion of Teacher's Day that he did not dream about becoming the prime minister of India and will look forward to serve Gujarat till 2017 when the current assembly's tenure concludes. Some saw in this a sense of frustration being expressed by the leader over the delay of his anointment as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

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