D-U set to put BJP on notice to name PM candidate

9:54 AM, Saturday, April 13th, 2013
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Nitish KumarNew Delhi : The two-day national meet of the JD-U beginning here on Saturday is expected to focus on pressurising its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to reveal whether Narendra Modi will be its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 General Elections.

It is being reported that the JD-U is likely to make a strong demand for the early projection of the next prime ministerial candidate of the alliance and reassert its commitment to secularism ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The JD-U on Friday warned that it will reconsider its decision to continue ties with the BJP-led alliance NDA if it projects Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.

Speaking to reporters, JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi said, “We will reconsider ties with the BJP-led alliance if Narendra Modi is projected as its prime ministerial candidate.”

The reaction from Tygai came a day after reports said that JD-U, whose antipathy to Narendra Modi is well-known, could compel BJP to declare its choice for the top job.

Rajya Sabha MP from JD-U Ali Anwar Ansari said, “It is the old stand of the party that some secular leader should be projected as Prime Minister of NDA, a leader, who is acceptable to all and who believes in taking all sections together. It should be announced before the polls, who will be NDA’s prime ministerial candidate.”

Congress leader from Bihar Shakeel Ahmed, however, mocked JD-U’s “secular search” saying “if somebody is searching for secular leader and says no to Narendra Modi but yes to LK Advani, it makes no sense.”

“Modi is the symptom of the disease that Atal Behari Vajpayee and Advani had spread,” he said.

JD-U president Sharad Yadav had on Thursday 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 had said “there is no bar on any issue. Everything can be discussed. Sky is the limit as far discussing issues is concerned.”

There has been unease in JD-U over Modi and 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 Lok Sabha polls.



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