BJP president Rajnath Singh has indicated that he will not be part of the government if his party comes to power after the Lok Sabha election.
"My responsibilities are already decided and I think, in the BJP, I have many colleagues who are capable who should be given a chance in the government," he added.
Rajnath Singh categorically said Narendra Modi will be the prime minister if the party comes to power.
"No matter what happens, under any circumstances, Modi will be India's PM.
"I want to clarify this as president of the party, because just by sitting in an office, people can't run a government," he added.
Rajnath Singh gave an interview to Zee news and spoke about the party leadership and why Narendra Modi would become the PM:
*In an exclusive interview with Zee News, BJP President Rajnath Singh denied that he had any ambitions of becoming the PM. He said only Narendra Modi would be the PM of a BJP-led NDA government, under any circumstances.
*Rajnath Singh also claimed that Narendra Modi was made the PM nominee after consultations with and agreement of all party leaders. He said the party cadres and leaders are disciplined and there is agreement on key issues.
*Singh also brushed aside the suggestion that the Lucknow seat, on which he is contesting, is of any significance to the PM's post. Atal Bihari Vajpayee won from Lucknow in 1998 and became the PM. However, Singh said that this does not imply that he would also become the Prime Minister. He quoted the example of Lalji Tandon, who also won from the Lucknow seat after Vajpayee. Rajnath Singh went on to say that it would be against his values to seek the Prime Minister's post after anointing Narendra Modi as the nominee.
*Singh asserted that a Prime Minister must not merely possess legal and constitutional authority, but also moral authority to be the Prime Minister. He said Narendra Modi possessed such moral authority to take over the reigns of governance at the Centre.
*The media has been abuzz about the bonhomie between Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi. Singh however denied that there was anything extraordinary about this. He said that there must be good relations between the party president and the Prime Minister for efficient functioning of the country. Singh explained that he had always believed Modi to be the most popular leader in India, even before becoming the party president.
*Singh though stated that Narendra Modi would have the complete authority to run the country once he became the PM. There would be no interference from him or the party leadership. Rajnath claimed that it was the Congress that believed in remote-controlling the Prime Minister, because they were run by a single family all the time. He said that BJP was a democratic party which did not believe in such remote-controlled governance.
*When asked about the 2009 elections in which BJP failed to win a single seat in nine states constituting 133 seats, Singh said that the BJP was confident of winning several seats in these states this time, along with its allies. He claimed that BJP-led NDA would win 15 to 20 seats in Tamil Nadu, and the BJP-TDP alliance would win a majority of seats in the bifurcated Andhra Pradesh.
*Singh was also confident that BJP would surpass their best peformance of winning 58 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 1998, going on to win 60 to 70 seats in the state this time around.
*Regarding Kerala, Singh said he could not predict BJP's performance with confidence, but was hopeful that the party would win up to 3 seats.
*When asked whether he would want to become a cabinet minister after a BJP-led NDA government was formed, Singh replied that he was the party president and that would continue to be his responsibility.
*Questioned if BJP would welcome more allies into its fold after the elections, Rajnath Singh said BJP would never abandon its present allies, but would welcome the 'good wishes' of other parties. He said that the NDA would continue even if the BJP itself secured over 272 seats in the elections. Singh was unbothered about the criticism of BJP and Modi by important political figures like Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati. He claimed that the NDA would win over 300 seats in the elections.
*Singh also defended Modi on the 2002 Gujarat riots, stating that no chief minister wants anarchy or communal tension to prevail in his state. He said Modi had tried his best to stop the riots, but the situation was out of control.
*The BJP president debunked rumours that there was indiscipline and dissent among the senior leaders of the BJP, calling the election a joint effort from the party. He also sought to dismiss the idea that their was unhappiness over ticket distribution, stating that leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi were not upset over the seat allocated to them.
*Singh sidetracked a question about the Congress making Priyanka Gandhi the new face of their campaign and sidelining Rahul Gandhi, saying who the Congress promoted was their own business and not his.
*During the interview, Singh also denied that the BJP had any personal agenda against Robert Vadra.
With agency inputs