BJP leader Gopinath Munde today supported Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as party's potential prime ministerial candidate, a day after senior colleague Sushma Swaraj said he is "fit" for the top post.
Arun Jaitley, another senior party leader, said BJP is proud of the fact it had a leader like Modi and he is so popular and a "successful CM" that it is "natural" the party will keep his name "ahead" in the prime ministerial aspirants.
BJP's Bihar unit chief C P Thakur, meanwhile, claimed that the endorsement of Swaraj, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, was the broad view of the entire party leadership.
The BJP on its part said there were many leaders who were eligible candidates in the party for the post of prime minister.
"Narendra Modi is capable of becoming PM and I am satisfied with Sushma Swaraj's opinion... He has potential of becoming PM," Munde told reporters in Ahmedabad.
Swaraj said yesterday that Modi is fit to become the prime minister.
"Narendra Modi is capable of becoming the prime minister of the country... He is fit for it," Swaraj told reporters in Vadodara, responding to a query.
"Sushmaji's endorsement of Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections represents the broad view of the party leadership and not her personal opinion," Thakur told PTI in Patna.
"Not only Sushmaji, but the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and other senior leaders have echoed similar sentiments in favour of Modi," Thakur said, adding that the final decision would be taken at an appropriate forum of the party in due course of time.
Against the backdrop of of the apparent growing support for Modi in the prime ministerial stakes, BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "BJP is fortunate to have many eligible candidates for the post of prime minister. The party will decide who will be when the time comes."
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh took a dig at both Swaraj and BJP veteran L K Advani, saying she must first make clear if Advani agreed with her on Modi being fit for the top post.