New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday endorsed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014 general elections.

"Wherever I go, the common people and party workers say they want Narendra Modi to be the prime ministerial candidate of BJP," Sinha said.

“After considering all aspects, I have concluded that if BJP declares Modi as its PM candidate, then BJP will benefit hugely in the elections. It will have a big impact on voters. I have no doubt on this," he added.

The former External Affairs Minister, who had once claimed to be qualified for the top post, also said that it was his personal view and the final decision in this regard would be taken after consultation with all allies of NDA.

Sinha became the first senior BJP leader to openly pitch for declaring Modi as PM candidate although the party and the leaders have been evasive on the issue.

JD-U dismisses Sinha’s remarks on Modi
BJP reacts cautiously to Sinha's remarks

Modi, who held "elaborate" discussions with new BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Sunday on the 2014 elections, himself has been parrying the question.

On JD(U) having reservations on Modi's name, Sinha said if the ally does not support, it will be a wrong decision. "JD(U) is the oldest ally of BJP... and it should remain in the alliance," he said.

However, he took exception to JD(U) targeting Modi, saying "To target one particular person is not fair. Either the entire party is secular or the entire party is communal. Within the BJP, you cannot pick and choose. That is a flawed argument."

He went on to add that, "Within a party, you cannot say XYZ is secular and ABC is communal and we will go with XYZ and not with ABC."

When asked about the possibility of JD(U) quitting the NDA if Modi is declared as PM candidate by BJP, Sinha said, "If any party goes, a number of parties will come.... JD(U) is absolutely free.”

"It is another party, it is an ally. If they take a position, they should take it only after careful consideration."

Meanwhile, the Janta Dal (United) has demanded immediate NDA meet to discuss the matter.


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