'Strange that race for Prez is become race for PM'
In an interview with CNN-IBN's national editor Bhupendra Choubey, former national security advisor and principal secretary to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpyee, Brajesh Mishra, talks about the recent crisis in the National Democratic Alliance surrounding Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar.
On comparison of Vajpayee with Narendra Modi:
Nitish Kumar himself knows that there is no comparison between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi. There is no other statesman in this country today like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The race for the President has become the race for the prime minister. That is strange.
I don't say Nitish Kumar has done it. There are others who are talking about it, may be in private conversations.
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Image: Former National Security Advisor and principal secretary to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpyee Brajesh Mishra
'Impossible for BJP to get majority, Modi to become PM'
On Modi as NDA's PM candidate
Narendra Modi becoming PM entirely depends on the Bharatiya Janata Party getting a majority on its own. Otherwise there are allies who would say no.
First of all, the BJP is not going to get majority on its own in the 2014 elections. It's impossible. Therefore, he can't be put forward as the prime ministerial candidate. The BJP has to find someone else or they will have to agree to a Third Front, which they can support from the outside.
Image: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi
'Vajpayee had predicated a defeat in 2004 elections'
On Vajpayee seeking removal of Modi post 2002 riots
There was a vociferous demand to let Narendra Modi continue as the chief minister. Vajpayee was not in his favour and advised Modi to follow the 'raj dharma'. But there was no question of Atalji overruling the party.
On the 2004 election defeat of the NDA due to Godhra riots
It was not just the riots. There were other factors too. The elections were held before October. The loss could be due to what happened in Gujarat. The loss could be because the Congress prepared itself very well for the election. But Atalji himself had said that the BJP was not going to win this election. He had assessed the political situation.
Image: Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee