The Shiv Sena [ Images ] on Tuesday voiced its support for Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj [ Images ] as National Democratic Alliance’s prime ministerial candidate, a day after senior Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] leader Yashwant Sinha [ Images ] backed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [ Images ] for it.
"We feel Sushma Swaraj is the suitable candidate for the PM's post," Sanjay Raut, Sena spokesman and Member of Parliament, told media persons in Mumbai [ Images ].
Late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray [ Images ] had also pitched for Swaraj as BJP-led NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, he said.
Sena had recently slammed Modi, the BJP’s Hindutva poster-boy, for allowing the Pakistan cricket team to play a match at Rajkot.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana had said that while the Gujarat government had turned away a 22-member Pakistani delegation, which had come down to participate in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit, due to India's [ Images ] strained relations with that country, "a fortnight ago, the entire Pakistani cricket team was playing in Rajkot".
"If Modi government had sent the Pakistani cricketers back in a similar manner, there would have been another feather of patriotism in Gujarat’s cap. Maharashtra [ Images ] and Gujarat must join hands to fight the battle against the Pakistanis," said the editorial in the newspaper, which has Sena president Uddhav Thackeray [ Images ] as the editor.
Notwithstanding NDA ally Janata Dal-United’s reservations over Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Sinha had pitched for the Gujarat strongman, claiming it will have a huge electoral benefit.
Sinha had advised JD-U not to target Modi and accept BJP's decision in ‘good grace’ without picking and choosing who is secular and who is not.
"After careful thought, 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," Sinha had said, adding the party could bag "far more seats" than was being estimated.