New Delhi, Aug. 31: BJP leader Arun Jaitley today warned that any delay in declaring the party’s mascot for 2014 could end in a “hit wicket”, playing upon the cricketing term to push for Narendra Modi without naming him.
The prod not to leave things till the slog overs came amid reports that some senior leaders, such as L.K. Advani, were opposed to Modi’s formal coronation now and wanted the call to be taken after year-end Assembly elections in four states.
“The moment we declare our prime ministerial candidate the situation will turn in our favourů. Parliamentary elections at times also become (like) presidential elections, especially when the leader enjoys overwhelming popularity,” he told a party conclave.
The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, who has openly backed Modi in the past, did not mention the Gujarat chief minister’s name but the allusion was clear.
Jaitley cautioned his party, saying any controversy over leadership could lead to defeat. “In cricket there is a scenario when nobody bowls you out but you give your wicket. We should not get hit wicket. That is the only way we are going to lose this election.”
“Leadership issue would matter in a big way in this election. We would stand to gain if we declare our leader at the earliest,” he added.
Party sources said while the majority want Modi to be formally nominated without any delay, senior leaders like Advani and Sushma Swaraj are of the view that the declaration should wait till after the coming round of Assembly elections are over.
Opponents of Modi feel he would take the credit for the BJP’s victory in the state elections if he is declared the candidate for Prime Minister now.