The Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] has deferred the crucial meeting of its core committee on Tuesday night as three senior leaders -- Sushma Swaraj [ Images ], Arun Jaitley [ Images ] and Ram Lal -- were not available because of prior commitments.
However, the party leadership decided to tread with caution and does not want the Janata Dal-United to part ways on the Narendra Modi [ Images ] issue.
It is learnt that the BJP leadership used a different track to keep the JD-U in good humour rather than condemn its own senior leader Yashwant Sinha [ Images ] openly backed Modi's projection as the party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014. Therefore, it was conveyed to Sinha not to air his views publicly to avoid having serious ramifications on its alliance with the Janata Dal-U.
It is learnt that even BJP president Rajnath Singh is on board with senior leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, about giving Modi a larger role outside of Gujarat, and even went public saying the latter is the most popular leader.
But he was quick to add that the JD-U is a trusted ally of the party for over a decade and the party would be working hard to enlarge its base.
Had Sinha confined his statement to Modi being declared as prime ministerial candidate, it would not have created any ruckus. But his statement that ‘If the JD-U wants to go, we will have new allies’, created a stir.
This was highly objectionable, particularly when Sinha himself is a member of the Parliamentary Board. Meanwhile, Modi has been invited on February 6 at the Delhi [ Images ] University to give a lecture on governance and if the Gujarat model can be replicated throughout the country. This has been organised by Jaitley.