Rajnath Singh steers diplomatic course on Narendra Modi, says no race in BJP for PM's post


Back at the helm by the sudden turn of events, new BJP President Rajnath Singh today steered clear of questions about the party's Prime Ministerial candidate or about Narendra Modi being one, saying there is no race in the party for the top post.

He said a call on the issue will be taken at the right time and leaders will decide.

"In our party, for the post Prime Minister or Chief Minister there is no race and nor does anyone stake their claim. Who will be the Prime Minister or Chief Minister, either our Parliamentary Board decides on this or the elected MLAs in the case of Chief Minister and MPs in the case of Prime Minister select their leader," Singh told reporters.

He, however, praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his good work in Gujarat during the past more than a decade which has seen the state's speedy progress and development.

The BJP chief said he would restructure the party soon after the National Council and National Executive meeting in mid-February and indicated that it could be held in Bhopal.

The party has kept the next meeting of the National Council and Executive in Bhopal, keeping in mind that BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh goes to polls later this year.

Asked if the party could stall Parliament during the forthcoming Budget session over Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's Hindu terror remarks, he said the BJP's strategy would be formulated ahead of the Session and the issue would be raised there.

Asked what role he foresees for the outgoing President Nitin Gadkari, Singh said "his role will certainly be there" and he would be a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, the supreme decision-making body of the party.

Rajnath Singh said, "There is no prima facie case made out against Nitin Gadkari and the way baseless allegations were levelled against him, he got disturbed due to them and thus decided to resign till his name is cleared of all charges. The responsibility has now come on me."

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