Narendra Modi
Narendra ModiReuters

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday announced Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha elections 2014.

BJP president Rajnath Singh made the official announcement on Friday evening after the party's parliamentary board meeting, putting an end to speculations that have been doing the rounds for months.

"The BJP has a tradition of declaring its candidate for PM. The BJP's parliamentary party board has decided that Mr Narendra Modi will be our prime ministerial candidate in 2014," Singh was quoted as saying by NDTV.

It was obvious that the BJP would announce Narendra Modi as it prime ministerial candidate despite dissent from some senior party leaders, as the party members' support for him ahead of Friday's meeting was immense.

The BJP's parliamentary board meeting was however marred by conspicuous absence of its senior party leader LK Advani, who had repeatedly expressed his objection over making Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate.

"I spoke to you about my dilemma and also expressed my disappointment at the way BJP is functioning. I have decided that I will not come for the Parliamentary Board meeting," wrote the 85-year-old senior BJP leader to party president Rajnath Singh.

However, he was isolated and his voice went unheard after Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi, who were previously against Modi's elevation to party's candidate for prime minister, finally gave in to the pressure of other party members.