New Delhi: The BJP's veteran leader LK Advani today proposed the name of Narendra Modi for Prime Minister and all party MPs gave their rousing endorsement, setting the stage for the takeover of a new BJP government.
"I propose Mr Modi's name as the leader of the BJP's parliamentary party," Mr Advani said. The proposal was seconded by a series of BJP leaders including MM Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu, who called Mr Modi the "darling of the masses." (Track Live Updates Here )
Mr Modi will meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 3:15 in the afternoon to stake claim to form a government. The BJP has won 336 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha with its allies. (Elections 2014: Detailed Results here)
As he arrived for the meeting of his party MPs in Parliament, Mr Modi touched Mr Advani's feet and they embraced. They repeated the sequence after party MPs chose Mr Modi as their leader.
Mr Modi is expected to be sworn in as the country's 15th Prime Minister between Sunday next, May 25, and Tuesday, May 27, sources have said. ( PMO's 10 Point Priority List for Narendra Modi )
Mr Advani had publicly protested against Mr Modi's elevation as the BJP's election campaign chief and also his being named the party's prime ministerial candidate before Assembly elections were held last year. He had also sought to shift out of Gandhinagar in Mr Modi's Gujarat, a seat he then won five times, to contest from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. He was finally talked into changing his mind. (Election Results 2014: From Advani, Flowers and a Hug for Modi )
Mr Modi has been camped in Delhi since Sunday holding multiple meetings to finalise his cabinet and decide on what role Mr Advani and other leaders who are close to him, will have in his government. Mr Advani has reportedly expressed interest in being the Lok Sabha Speaker, a constitutional post that does not report to the PM.
On Wednesday, Mr Modi will resign as Gujarat chief minister and MLA and party legislators will elect their next chief minister. Sources say senior Gujarat minister Anandi Ben, who is close to Mr Modi, is the top contender for the post Mr Modi has held since 2001.