Just a day after Yashwant Sinha backed Narendra Modi as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, NDA ally Shiv Sena has said that while it wouldn’t comment on the party’s internal matters, their founder Bal Thackeray had wanted Sushma Swaraj to be the alliance’s prime ministerial candidate.
“This is their internal matter. Who the PM candidate for the BJP will be shall be decided by the BJP party. As for the PM candidate for the NDA, is will be discussed at the NDA meeting,” the party’s MP Sanjay Raut said.
However, the party’s founder Balasaheb Thackeray had originally backed Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj for the post, he pointed out.
“Sushma Swaraj always had the blessings of Balasaheb. As for Narendra Modi, Balasaheb always gave his blessings to him but for leading the country , Balasaheb was clear that it should be Sushma Swaraj,” he said.
The Shiv Sena leader’s opinion comes a day after former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha joined the chorus of voices demanding that the Gujarat Chief Minister take his first step into national politics. Sinha had also said allies like the Janata Dal (United), who in the past have expressed reservations against Modi, can decide on whether they want to stay on in the alliance.
However, whether the Shiv Sena will allow its political strategies to continue to be determined by their founder, who has since passed on, or will rely on realpolitik going ahead remains to be seen.