‘If Modi sweeps Gujarat polls, he can be NDA’s frontrunner for PM post’
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Bihar BJP president and Rajya Sabha MP C P Thakur has said the Gujarat Assembly elections could decide whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar would be a better NDA prime ministerial candidate.
Speaking to The Indian Express , Thakur said: "Though it is the BJP leadership that can settle the PM nominee debate between Modi and Nitish, I believe the Gujarat election results will hold the key. If Modi gets a thumping majority, he can be a frontrunner in the NDA PM candidate race."
He said a big majority for the party in Gujarat "might also tempt the leadership to throw its weight behind Modi even if it means displeasing some NDA partners".
Thakur said the BJP "could think of a PM candidate who can help increase its tally in states like Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and UP" besides boosting its strength in strongholds.
He, however, said the NDA has been non-committal on declaring its PM candidate before the 2014 elections because it continues "to be mired in moderate face versus hardcore face dilemma".
Thakur said he would schedule his Gujarat trip after November 15. "As Modi has invited all party leaders, I will also ask Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi to visit the state to campaign," he said.
Asked about Nitish's possible displeasure over BJP's "over indulgence" with Modi, Thakur said it was the party's internal matter. He, however, said the party was happy with Nitish for saying that the JD(U) and the BJP would contest the LS polls together.
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