Indore: BJP president Nitin Gadkari today said the party would disclose the name of its prime ministerial candidate at an “appropriate” time and at present
is focused on winning at least 200 seats “on its own” in the next Lok Sabha elections.
“LK Advani is our senior leader and is a source of inspiration. BJP’s top committee will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time on the issue of who would be the party’s prime ministerial candidate,” Gadkari told
reporters at the Indore Press Club.
He was asked whether Advani will be repeated as the party’s PM candidate in the next Lok Sabha polls. We are working on a detailed scheme in this regard and aiming to win at least 200 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections on “our own strength”, he said.
For Madhya Pradesh, the party has set a target of winning at least 25 out of the total 29 seats. ”If we are able to win more than 165 seats on our own, then we will not be considered as casteist or communal but progressive and people will ally with us,” Gadkari said.
The BJP president further said the party was concentrating on strengthening its organisational base in states like Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and the North-East in view of the general elections.
“Because of rising inflation and corruption, there is a negative atmosphere prevailing in the country against Congress but we don’t want to win polls by exploiting this situation. Instead, we will launch a positive campaign with a focus on BJP’s achievements and providing good governance.”
To a question, Gadkari said BJP is not shielding any party leader on the issue of corruption. ”Soon after Lokayukta gave an adverse report against then Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, the party had asked him to immediately resign,” he said.
On former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, who quit from the party’s national executive committee in the wake of his conviction in a bribery case, Gadkari said Laxman had told him that he will not assume any post till he is absolved of
To a question on nomination to Rajya Sabha of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and yesteryear actress Rekha, he said ”people have a doubt that there might be some conspiracy of Congress behind it”.
Taking a dig at Congress, Gadkari said “the affairs in Congress are in a dire strait and even the almighty can not save it from losing”.
He denied that BJP has distanced itself from Hindutva and construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya after fully exploiting the twin issues.
“After the Allahabad High Court’s judgment on the temple issue, the row over birth place of Lord Ram stands resolved and a grand temple should be built at that place with the support of Muslims,” he said, adding, similarly BJP will
support if any mosque is built in the vicinity of the temple area.