Jethmalani now bats for Modi, says 'Gujarat CM is 100% secular'

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 11:52 hrs

New Delhi: Asserting that Narendra Modi is impeccably secular, suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday said the Gujarat Chief Minister was the best Prime Ministerial candidate for the party.

"Modi in my definition of secularism is hundred percent secular and his enemies and detractors have done their best to spoil his name by disseminating untruth and sometimes to my knowledge creating false evidence to support their false claims. I believe that he (Modi) is impeccably secular," he told the media here.

Jethmalani also lashed out at Modi's critics.

"I want to make it very clear that the word secular and the word communal, these two words have now become words of abuse in political dialogue. Those who use these words don't even understand their meaning, particularly the word secularism," he added.

The veteran lawyer also expressed his delight over senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha backing his view that Modi is the best Prime Minister for this country.

"Nothing has happened ever since I announced that according to me Narendra Bhai is the most and the best Prime Minister for this country. Nothing has happened to change my mind. I don't believe that Yashwant Singh has said anything on the contrary, he has supported my view and I am very happy that he has supported it. It lends greater credibility to what I have said," he said.

Meanwhile, another BJP leader C.P. Thakur on his part said the party should take a final call on the Prime Ministerial candidate soon.

"I have seen the Shiv Sena's demand. First of all, it is the BJP, which has to decide the name. It is already getting late and the BJP parliamentary board should convene a meeting as soon as possible to finalise the name. Announcement of the name is being delayed, but it cannot be said to be a delay because the new president will hold discussions with everybody on this," Thakur told ANI in Patna.

"There is massive demand to make Narendra Modi the prime ministerial candidate. Sushma Swaraj is also a good leader. But the party should take a final call in this regard soon," he added.

The Shiv Sena has said that Sushma Swaraj is its first choice for the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014.

The infighting with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has gained momentum after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha openly pitched for declaring Modi as the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, saying it will benefit the party in a big way.

Sinha yesterday said there is a strong demand from the common people and workers that Narendra Modi should be declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

"Wherever I go, the party workers and common people demand that Modi should be BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, and now I too think that it will benefit the party a lot. But, it is up to the party leadership to decide on the issue," he said.

Disapproving Sinha's bid to project Narendra Modi as the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav yesterday said that alliances are formed with 'great difficulty'.

"Alliances are formed with great difficulty and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's statement is uncalled for in the context of alliances," said Yadav, who is also convenor of the BJP-led NDA.

Sinha's comments for projecting Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate came a day after the Gujarat Chief Minister held a two-hour long discussion with BJP President Rajnath Singh.

Modi, who secured an electoral hat-trick in Gujarat in December last year, met the new BJP President earlier on Sunday and the duo discussed the future course of action regarding the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. 

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