The chorus among Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s supporters for a national role for him after his third straight victory in the assembly elections has not evoked a favourable response from within the BJP-led NDA or any other non-Congress party.
A key NDA ally and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) continued to maintain a safe distance from Modi, with Kumar himself desisting from congratulating Modi. When reporters sought a reaction from Kumar on Modi’s victory, he kept mum.
Another BJP ally, Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, did shower praises on the Gujarat CM, but ducked the question of accepting him as a prime ministerial candidate.
The Shiv Sena, considered close to Modi, also appeared non-committal on his future national role although Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray welcomed Modi’s hat-trick.
West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, which had severed links with the ruling UPA in September and has voted with the BJP in Parliament on many issues during the recently concluded winter session, firmly ruled out any truck with Modi.
(With inputs from state bureaus)