Amid a debate on BJP projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu today said the party would take a call on the issue before the 2014 general elections.
"No senior leader has so far made any announcement on making someone as prime ministerial candidate. Many friends, well-wishers and non-political persons are giving this suggestion. There is a nation-wide debate going on over this. It is a matter of pride for us.
"He (Modi) has all the qualifications, ability to be Prime Minister. But elections will be held in 2014. The party leadership will discuss the issue before elections and decide on who should lead the party for elections, whether to project someone as Prime Minister. So far, the party has not discussed about the Prime Ministerial projection and we have not taken any decision," he told reporters here.
Naidu was replying to a query on the saffron party's prime ministerial candidate and that some senior leaders appeared to have endorsed Modi's candidature for the top post.
The former BJP president said Modi, though a Chief Minister, is already a national leader whom the party consulted on important issues.
The party always took Modi's views on crucial issues concerning the nation and would continue to do so, the former Union Minister said.
Replying to a query, Naidu said he is not aspiring for any post as the party had already given him a lot. "Let me make it very clear. I have no intention whatsoever. Party has given me everything beyond my capacity. I am not aspiring to become anything, party president or anything else."
BJP's victory in the Gujarat elections was comprehensive as it was spread across all regions of the state, Naidu said.
The Congress had made all efforts to defame the Modi administration and even the Raj Bhavan was not spared. Congress leaders, including its president, tried to belittle the progress made in Gujarat, the BJP leader alleged.
Talking about the poll outcome in Himachal Pradesh, he said the party accepted the loss with humility.
Meanwhile, speaking in Bhopal, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar today said Modi was fit to become the Prime Minister, but a decision on the party's candidate for the top post would be taken at an "appropriate" time.
"In my view, Narendra Modi is qualified to become the Prime Minister. However, the final decision on who will ultimately become the PM will be taken at the right and appropriate time," he said.
"Unlike the Congress, the BJP does not believe in the politics of dynasty. Apart from Modi, Chief Ministers of other BJP-ruled states and many other party leaders are capable of becoming the Prime Minister," Javadekar added.
He also said the results of Himachal Pradesh assembly polls were not as per the party's expectations.
"BJP may have lost in Himachal Pradesh because it was a very small state where even small margins can make the difference between victory or defeat," Javadekar said.
The BJP leader said the Winter Session of the Parliament, which ended yesterday, has shown the "failure" of the UPA government.
Javadekar criticised the Centre saying it was neither doing anything to control price rise, nor had it taken a decision on increasing the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to fifteen.