Rajnath likely to call BJP Parliamentary Board meet

New Delhi: BJP President Rajnath Singh is expected to call a meeting of the party's Parliamentary Board today to take a decision on declaring Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate even as L K Advani and other senior leaders continue to have reservations over the issue.
 
Though no intimation has been sent to the 10 Parliamentary Board members by Singh as yet, sources said the meeting is likely to take place at 5 PM here.
 
Singh has decided to go ahead after holding consultations with the RSS top leadership, including General Secretary Suresh 'Bhaiyyaji' Joshi and Joint General Secretary Suresh Soni.
 
Joshi had met Advani yesterday to persuade him on declaring Modi as the PM candidate, sources said.
 
A host of senior leaders, including Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar and M Venkaiah Naidu have also met Advani to convince him on Modi's name.
 
However, Advani is said to be adamant in his stand against Modi and has conveyed to the party that making him the PM candidate will divert attention from BJP's core issues against the Congress like price rise and corruption. Modi, he feels, will become the issue if he is made the PM candidate.
 
"Advani suggested yesterday that the BJP chief ministers should also be consulted on this issue," a party leader said.
 
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi also have reservations about Modi's candidature and have suggested that an announcement should be made only after the upcoming assembly elections to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi.
 
Swaraj insisted in her meeting with Singh yesterday that a decision on the issue should be taken only at the Parliamentary Board meeting. Joshi, meanwhile, has said though he has reservations about the issue, he will abide by the majority's view in the panel.
 
Joshi has left for Sagar, MP, to attend a party programme and will return only late evening. He is not likely to be present in the meeting if it is held today.
 
Swaraj, however, has cancelled her trip to Ambala after she was asked to stay back in the capital. Other senior party functionaries have been asked to be present in the capital today.