Jaitley underplays Modi for 2014

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 03:06 hrs

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will declare its 2014 Prime Ministerial candidate only at "an appropriate time" and after discussions, senior party leader Arun Jaitley has said, downplaying speculation that the right wing outfit has virtually already chosen Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the role.

"He (Modi) is a major leader in the BJP. He has a very good track record of governance and therefore his name being mentioned as a frontline BJP leader for the future is understandable. But then there is a process by which this decision is taken," he said,

"The BJP will take a decision in this regard at an appropriate time. We have allies we have to discuss this issue with," the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha said in an interview to NDTV.

Jaitely's counterpart in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had earlier backed Modi for the PM's post during her visit to canvas for the party in Gujarat ahead of the assembly polls.

"There is no two opinion that he is most capable and ideal candidate to be the Prime Minister of India," she said.

The candidature of Modi as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 is a debatable issue owing to protests by other National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) , but with Swaraj naming him, the support in favour of Modi only swelled.

Earlier suspended BJP leader Ram Jethmalani spoke in favour of Modi.

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