JD(U) to demand early projection of BJP's PM nominee

Nitish Kumar
New Delhi, April 11: BJP ally JD-U, whose antipathy to Narendra Modi is well-known, is likely to make a strong demand for the early projection of the next Prime Ministerial candidate of the alliance and emphasise its commitment to secularism ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Though party leaders remain tight-lipped about the political resolution to be adopted at its two-day National Executive beginning here on Saturday, there are clear indications that the party will vehemently oppose projection of the Gujarat Chief Minister within NDA for the top job.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav evaded a direct reply on whether the party will oppose the projection of Modi. "We had never compromised on the issue of secularism nor will we do now," he said.

He was asked whether secular credentials of NDA's next Prime Ministerial candidate will be an important issue to be discussed at the JD(U) meet.

On whether the party will discuss the issue of Modi's increased projection in BJP, he said, "There is no bar on any issue. Everything can be discussed. Sky is the limit as far discussing issues is concerned. "Our party allows people to raise issues. But how can we say what will be the decision before the party's National Council meet."

Yadav's comments are significant as there has been quite an unease in JD(U) over Modi recently addressing a series of meetings with a party leader saying it seemed "if he has been the declared Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP".

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who runs a coalition government with BJP, has been a known critic of Modi. A sizeable section in JD-U believes that parting of ways with BJP will be unavoidable if Modi is projected a Prime Ministerial candidate in the Lok Sabha polls.

"So far NDA has gone to elections projecting Atal Behari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Why should they not do it now," was the refrain of a senior JD-U leader, who did not want to be named.


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