Will take call on NDA's PM candidate at right time: Nitish

Patna, May 7: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that his party JD(U) will take a final decision on the NDA's prime ministerial candidate at the appropriate time.

"There is no question of exercising veto ... JD(U) has made its views very clear," Kumar told reporters after a 'Janata ke darbar mein Mukhya Mantri' programme in an apparent reference to state Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's recent comment that none could exercise veto in a democracy.

"Coalition runs on the basis of 'sahmati' (agreement) and not 'asahmati' (disagreement). Alliance runs on understanding between partners and not on the basis of 'majboori' (helplessness)," Kumar said.

"Vajpayeeji's time was the benchmark of the alliance," he said, referring to what kind of person should occupy a PM's post and how the NDA coalition ran successfully under Atal Bihari Vajpayee who took everyone along.

Asked about future of the alliance and chance of a breakup between the NDA allies, Kumar said, "We will cross the bridge when we reach it. Media is blowing things out of proportion even when we are on the way and far away from the bridge." Kumar also said that special category status for Bihar would be JD(U)'s top agenda in the 2014 general polls.

"Special category status for Bihar will be the top agenda of the party manifesto for 2014 general elections," the chief minister said.

Told that leaders of UPA constituents like NCP's Tariq Anwar, RJD's Lalu Prasad, LJP's Ramvilas Paswan and Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar have not supported the demand for special status, Kumar said "those who stand for the interest of Bihar are for it and those not, against it."

In reply to a question whether he expected to hear good tidings from Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who had earlier spoken in favour of special status for Bihar and would visit the state on May 11, Kumar replied, "that only he can say.

"The Union government through Economic survey, comments of Chidambaram on need for changing criteria for special status and statement of Planning minister Rajiv Shukla that matter is under consideration for Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan, has committed to the issue.

"Now as things have reached a critical condition, JD(U) will not rest till special category status is provided to Bihar," he said.

Tearing into the argument of Lalu Prasad and others that when he was claiming that Bihar had achieved high growth rate what was the need for special status, Kumar said "to sustain double digit growth rate private investment is a must and this can gain momentum only with special status."

Asked to comment whether CBI was independent in functioning, Kumar said "till now CBI is part of the government, but like the police is independent in inquiring into a case.

"Nobody can interfere in a police inquiry ... this we see every day in Bihar," he said.


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