Ignoring the strong reservations of ally Janata Dal United's leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance if the party won the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat.
"The Gujarat poll verdict will decide whether Narendra Modi will be the PM candidate. If the verdict is in favour of Modi, the BJP will stand behind him and project him as the prime ministerial candidate, despite the fact that it will be opposed by some allies of the NDA," said state BJP president CP Thakur.
Thakur said the national leadership of BJP will take the final decision on the prime ministerial candidate, but the outcome of the Gujarat elections would definitely be a deciding factor.
Thakur, a former Union minister, said Modi's popularity will be tested again in Gujarat polls.
Thakur's statement is likely to raise the political temperature in the ruling BJP-JD-U alliance as Nitish Kumar has openly opposed Modi's candidature for the PM's post.
Kumar had earlier warned that his party would not hesitate to break off ties with the BJP if the latter projected Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
Thakur also invited Modi to address a rally that is scheduled to be held next year in Patna.