Modi formally announced BJP's PM candidate

The formal announcement was made after BJP's parliamentary board meeting held in Delhi.

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi on Friday was formally announced Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
 
The decision was taken after the commencement of the party's parliamentary board meeting involving its major leaders. It was reported that the senior leader LK Advani skipped the meeting due to his differing views over the decision to anoint Modi.

 
Hours before the formal announcement, the allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday had confirmed that Narendra Modi would be the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.
 
CNN IBN reported that the BJP president Rajnath Singh informed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of party's decision to nominate Modi as its PM candidate.
 
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said his party welcomes the decision. "Yes, we will win 100 per cent if we fight under Narendra Modi. Yesterday, Uddhavji (Uddhav Thackeray) talked to Modiji, and congratulated him as well. We will welcome it if Modi is declared the PM candidate," Raut said.
 
Also, Shriromani Akali Dal, another key ally of the BJP, was also informed about the decision. Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal was called by the BJP president to inform that Modi will be NDA's PM candidate for the 2014 elections.
 
Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral said that the decision of anointing Modi will unite the NDA. "In politics differences don't last for long. Everyone will fall in line, NDA stands united," Gujral as quoted by CNN IBN.
 
Sources said a series of meetings had been held over the past two days involving party leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Anant Kumar, Nitin Gadkari and Ram Lal apart from Rajnath Singh.
 
Advani and Sushma Swaraj are learnt to be of the opinion that any decision on the party's prime ministerial candidate should be taken after assembly polls to five states later this year.
Party sources said that Advani continued to have reservations on naming Modi as the party's face in the general elections and it was not clear if Sushma Swaraj had come on board on the issue.
 
Advani is learnt to have told party leaders that making Modi the prime ministerial candidate would divert attention from the BJP's core issues of price rise and corruption against the United Progressive Alliance government.
 
However, supporters of Modi and a section of party leaders seem to disagree.
 
G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, a member of BJP's national executive, said Thursday that the party leaders were trying to reach a consensus on announcement about Modi.
 
He also said that the party was willing to make the announcement despite the reservations of some leaders. "Hope there is consensus in parliamentary board. If not, the majority decision will prevail," Narasimha Rao said. (With inputs from agencies)