Patna: The rift between NDA allies Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Bihar, over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s projection as the alliance’s prime ministerial candidate, again surfaced on Tuesday.
Soon after state BJP president C.P. Thakur told newspeople here on Tuesday that Modi will be the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if he won the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat, JD-U leaders expressed their strong reservation against this projection of Modi and even threatened to snap ties with the BJP.
Thakur said that Modi will be the main contender for the prime ministerial candidate if he regains power in Gujarat. “The result of Gujarat polls in favour of Narendra Modi will help him to be the prime ministerial candidate,” he said.
Though Thakur said the BJP’s national leadership would take the final decision on the prime ministerial candidate, he noted the outcome of the Gujarat elections would definitely be a deciding factor.
JD-U national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said the JD-U has already made its stand clear on the issue. “The JD-U and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have made views clear on the subject. There is no need to repeat it again,” he said in response to Thakur’s remarks.
JD-U MP Ali Anwar Ansari also reacted strongly. “I fail to understand why some people are trying to give oxygen to an useless issue,” he said.
He also threatened that the JD-U will end its long ties with the BJP if Modi will be projected as the prime ministerial candidate.
The JD-U has also been vocal in its opposition to Modi coming to the state to campaign. Modi evokes strong reactions, particularly from the minorities, for his alleged involvement in the Gujarat riots in which almost 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. Though it has been 10 years since the riots, tensions over the isue continue in the state.
Nitish Kumar had earlier objected to his photographs with Narendra Modi in newspaper advertisements during the BJP national executive meeting in Patna in June 2010.
He has also said it would not take a minute for his party to break ties with the BJP if the latter projected Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.