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Not in PM race: Rajnath Singh

Not in PM race: Rajnath Singh
Highlights

Not in PM race: Rajnath Singh, Rajnath Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Singh, 62, is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow, a seat held in the past for five terms by Vajpayee, thrice as prime minister.

Modi was made PM candidate as he is the most popular leader

New Delhi: Rajnath Singh has often been blamed by rivals within his party and outside to be working surreptitiously to become the country's next prime minister, but the BJP president on Saturday moved in to scotch all such speculation. "Rajnath cannot be Vajpayee," he told NDTV in reply to a question on whether he was planning to appropriate the legacy left behind by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Singh, 62, is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow, a seat held in the past for five terms by Vajpayee, thrice as prime minister. He admitted that he was the ailing BJP leader's "favourite," but ruled out the possibility of staking claim to the prime minister's post. "The BJP parliamentary board unanimously decided that Narendra Modi will be the prime ministerial candidate, because he is the most popular leader of the country. Voters are looking up to him. There is no question of me as a prime ministerial probable," Singh said.

The BJP president said he shared his party colleague Sushma Swaraj's feeling of being "saddened" over denial of ticket to former union minister Jaswant Singh, who has now filed his nomination from Barmer as an independent candidate, and hoped that he would not have to take the extreme step of expelling him.

"I still believe I will not be forced to take such a decision. I will certainly like him to withdraw his nomination papers. He is a senior leader," Singh told NDTV.

The BJP president rejected Swaraj's charge that Barmer was not discussed in the election committee meeting. "Jaswant's name had come up for discussion, but it's true that there were four seats which were not decided in the panel as the state committee said they wanted to hold more discussions,'' he said.

Singh also said emphatically that party veteran L K Advani had never confided in him about his wish to contest from Bhopal.

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