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Bal Thackeray supports Sushma Swaraj as NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate


September 9, 2012 - Mumbai

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said that Sushma Swaraj is the best choice for Prime Minister from the Bharatiya Janata Party. This is also the first time that a NDA ally has openly voiced their support for a PM candidate for the 2014 elections. The comment comes at a time when the NDA is not sure as whom to project as their prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general elections. The names of Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have been mentioned in the media as probable candidates.

In an interview published in the Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamna on Sunday, Thackeray said there is a long queue of people aspiring to become the prime minister of the country. However, he lamented that none of them thinks about the progress. "I have said this in the past that at present there is only one person who is intelligent, brilliant and that is Sushma Swaraj. In my opinion she is a deserving candidate," Thackeray said.

While welcoming Bal Thackeray's views, BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said that they have a lot of competent candidates in their party 'who can lead the country in these difficult times'. BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that a decision on their prime ministerial candidate would be taken by the BJP and the NDA partners at the time of elections. Reacting to Shiv Sena supremo's comments, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that the BJP party should wait for people's verdict and 'not count their chickens before they hatch'.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar doesn't prefer Narendra Modi as the NDA's candidate for PM, while BJP cadres want Modi for the top post.

Sushma Swaraj has recently met Bal Thackeray when she was in Mumbai and enquired about his health.

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