Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Atul Kumar Anjan on Saturday expressed shock over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sidelining its senior leaders and anointing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
"It's a long journey for them. They have to walk miles and there are many obstacles in this path. Every obstacle reminds us of Ahmedabad, killings, murder of Haren Pandya, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, and therefore, it is not easy. It is very shocking that many senior leaders were sidelined," he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar congratulated Modi, and denied reports that party stalwart Lal Krishna Advani was unhappy with the party's decision.
"I would like to congratulate Narendra Modi for his nomination as prime ministerial candidate. Although Lal Krishna Advani did not turn up for the meeting his blessings will also be there with him (Modi). He is our senior leader and we will continue to work under his guidance," he said.
Several senior BJP leaders, including Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar, met Advani at his residence here this morning apparently in a bid to pacify the veteran leader, who was opposed to Modi's elevation as the prime ministerial candidate.
Modi, who was yesterday named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, met Advani soon after his elevation.
There was, however, no official word from him after the meeting.
The Modi-for-PM announcement came after a meeting of the BJP's parliamentary board here last evening.
The announcement was made by BJP President Rajnath Singh after a meeting of the parliamentary board, which was skipped by Advani.
Soon after the announcement, Modi thanked his party's central leadership for giving him such an important responsibility, and expressed confidence that the BJP would emerge victorious in the next general elections.
"The BJP has always given me the opportunity to work for progress and development of the party and the nation in various capacities. Today, the BJP's central leadership has given me a very big responsibility," said Modi.
"With the blessings of the national leadership and love of the party workers, I am sure we will win. I whole-heartedly thank the party workers and national leadership," he added.
Modi assured his party workers and supporters that he would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the BJP emerges victorious in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Several attempts had earlier been made by senior leaders to convince Advani, who had resigned from all party posts when Modi was appointed the election campaign committee chief in Goa earlier this year.
The BJP President even met the stalwart at the latter's residence here on Wednesday, but failed to convince him . (ANI)