Beating drums and cymbals, the slogan-shouting and placard-carrying supporters of the Bihar CM were in a celebratory mood. But suggestions about Modi’s projection as the NDA’s prime ministerial nominee seemed to put them off.
“Foisting Modi as a Prime Ministerial candidate is a preposterous proposition. Does the JD (U) need a ‘baisakhi’ (support) from Modi or the BJP to win elections in Bihar,” party worker Kiran Gupta asked.
“It is no secret that Modi is unacceptable to the Muslims. So far, Nitish has kept him at bay. If Modi pitches in for a national role, Kumar will have no option but to disassociate with the BJP,” JD (U) supporter Mohammed Ali said.
Comprising approximately 14% population, the Muslim electorate has a commanding position in approximately 30% assembly segments in the state. “The JD (U), therefore, is keeping its options open and is willing to go it alone for the 2014 polls,” a senior party leader said on conditions of anonymity.
“We are opposing Modi and not the BJP. If someone other than Modi is made the PM in 2014, we are fine with it. Alternatively, if the Congress returns to power and grants special category status to Bihar, the JD (U) will align with it,” said Sanjay Singh, a three-wheeler driver of Bihari-origin.