New Delhi: Former BJP President Nitin Gadkari has met senior leader L K Advani as an emissary of the RSS to discuss the issue of announcing Narendra Modi as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate, a proposal the Parliamentary Party Chief is opposed to.
Gadkari visited Advani at his residence here and held a short meeting with the senior leader to convince him on Modi's name and agree to a date for convening the Parliamentary Board meeting before September 17, party sources said.
Advani, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and Murli Manohar Joshi reportedly have reservations about declaring Modi as the PM candidate before the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Gadkari flew to Nagpur, where the RSS headquarters are located, after his meeting with Advani. He is expected to convey the outcome of his meeting with Advani to the RSS leadership.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had held a dinner meeting with Advani and Swaraj last week to discuss this issue. Earlier, RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi had also met Advani and Swaraj separately to convince them.
It is not clear whether Advani has had a change of heart. However, the decision on when to hold the Parliamentary Board meeting is still hanging fire, sources said.
Consensus on a suitable date when all members of BJP's highest decision making body are present is being worked out.
While BJP and RSS top brass have indicated that any delay in announcing Modi as the PM candidate is not good for the party, efforts are on to take an unanimous decision with Advani, Swaraj and Joshi on board.
Gadkari did not meet Joshi and Swaraj though the possibility of him having reached out to them on the phone has not been ruled out.
Modi's supporters in the top echelons of BJP are keen that the announcement be made before his birthday on September 17.