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Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 13, 2013
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is expected to stir up a hornet's nest by calling upon the BJP to clarify its stand on the NDA's "neta and niti (leader and policy)" during a two-day Janata Dal (United) conclave beginning Saturday.

While Sharad Yadav is set to be re-elected for a third term as party president, the JD(U) national executive and council is likely to get overshadowed over the question of NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014 general elections.

"The BJP must follow its tradition of naming its Prime Ministerial candidate before 2014 elections," a senior JD (U) leader said.

By deciding to ask the BJP to come clean on the leadership issue, the Bihar strongman will pose a direct challenge to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's candidature for the top job, while also questioning his development model.

By pushing the BJP into a corner, the Bihar CM will be throwing open the political sweepstakes ahead of next year's general elections - providing for the possibility of major shifts in the national political configuration.

"Our leadership has realized that alliance partners will suffer considerable political damage, if BJP remains ambiguous on the leadership question. We want clarity on the issue," another senior JD (U) leader said.