‘Advani wall’ is still trying to stall Modi

The “Advani wall” continues to delay the BJP’s attempts to name Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general election.
BJP president Rajnath Singh on Wednesday met party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani in a bid to persuade him to accept Mr Modi’s nomination as the party’s candidate for PM. Though Mr Advani has so far refused to give his consent, a section in the party claimed that “he has no other option but to concede”.
A decision on Mr Modi’s name was expected to be taken at Friday’s BJP parliamentary board meeting. But with Mr Advani as well as Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj continuing to mount pressure to delay the move till Assembly elections are over in five states, it is learnt that Friday’s meeting could even be deferred. There is, however, also a move under way to declare Mr Modi’s name officially at a press conference instead of making the announcement at a party meeting.
Before Mr Rajnath Singh, former party president Nitin Gadkari had also tried to persuade Mr Advani to end his opposition. Mr Gadkari had made it clear it was the RSS that wanted the BJP to declare Mr Modi’s candidature at the earliest.
Speaking at Thiruvananthapuram, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, a known supporter of Mr Modi, said: “When the principal Opposition party, which has a proven leadership, throws up a powerful personality, the elections could become quasi-presidential in nature.”
Countering arguments by the Advani-Sushma camp that naming Mr Modi before the Assembly polls would divert focus from corruption, price rise and bad governance, a youth leader of the party said: “By the same logic, won’t naming Modi after the Assembly elections divert the focus from these issues during the general election? These are nothing but lame excuses to stall Modi’s rise in the BJP.” It was claimed that a majority of the BJP leadership had decided to “go ahead naming Mr Modi as PM candidate with or without Advani and Sushma.”
The BJP president went to Mr Advani’s residence on Wednesday afternoon and had a 30-minute talk with him. The “sulking” patriarch, however, apparently remained
adamant that Mr Modi should not be named as the PM candidate before the Assembly polls. Earlier, the RSS leaders had held meetings with Mr Advani and Ms Swaraj to get them to fall in line, sources said.

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