Panaji: The Bharatiya Janata Party will hold its national executive meet at Panaji from June 7 to June 9 where the saffron party is likely to focus on adopting strategy for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Apart from this, the party is likely to hold deliberations on the issue of Prime Ministerial candidate besides discussing several other issues.

While the office bearers will gather on Friday, the national executive will meet on Saturday and Sunday at Marriott hotel in Panaji to discuss several things related to election strategy.

Senior party leaders said that the time has come to start projecting someone as the prime ministerial candidate.

"There is a feeling in the party that a decision on the prime ministerial candidate should be taken now," said a Bharatiya Janata Party leader who did not wish to be named.

"A decision should be taken, whether a leader has to be projected and who it would be," added the leader.

It’s believed the task is not going to be an easy one. There are known differences within the main opposition party on who should be projected as future prime minister.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has ruled the state since 2001, has not hidden his ambition and his followers have always thrown their weight behind his back.

Though he is a charismatic crowd puller, not everyone in the BJP - or the larger Sangh Parivar - is reportedly comfortable with him. BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani recently rocked Modi boat by comparing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan with the iconic and former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee.

BJP president Rajnath Singh immediately clarified that Advani's comments has been "misinterpreted" - after the media reported that Advani came out against Modi.

Others have floated names of Advani, who was the prime ministerial contender in 2009 and Sushma Swaraj, the opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, as possible prime ministerial hopefuls.

BJP, which was in power from 1998 to 2004 and lost the 2009 Lok Sabha battle also needs to contend with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has made his disliking for Modi clear.

Another BJP national executive member said the focus of the June 7-9 meet would be on the overall strategy for the next Lok Sabha election. BJP is in power in four states -Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Goa and is a junior partner in Bihar and Punjab.

Although BJP leaders are exhorting confidence of toppling Congress-led UPA government from power in the Lok Sabha elections, the party recently suffered a major setback in Karnataka last month.

BJP also needs to contend with regional parties in states where it wields influence. The party also would like to stitch more alliances ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

The national executive has nearly 300 members, appointed by the party president. These include key party leaders like chief ministers, MPs, ex-MPs and state party presidents.

(Agencies)

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