A day after BJP chief Nitin Gadkari endorsed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime minister candidate for the 2014 polls, the Janata Dal(United), a key NDA ally, refused to be drawn into any debate on the issue.
"2014 is far away. By then much water would have flown in the Ganges. Let us see what happens in future," JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said.
The BJP too sought to downplay the issue, saying Gadkari had responded to questions from a TV interviewer.
Yadav whose party has strongly opposed Modi citing the 2002 riots in Gujarat said, "We have nothing to comment on what somebody has said. This is their party issue. You better ask the BJP."
Gadkari had said on Sunday that "Modi has good potential to be BJP president and PM..."
Reacting to it, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "I have no doubt that the BJP president has made a completely valid comment going by the BJP's definition of 'gunn'.
By the BJP's definition, he said, the Gujarat chief minister possesses all talents and a versatile range of competence because the BJP's definition is based on communalism or on divisiveness.
"By that definition, I have no doubt that Gadkari has proclaimed the best choice. Fortunately for us, neither Gadkari nor his party chooses the Prime Minister of India and I can assure you that the public takes a very close and careful look at the so-called 'gunn' (talent) before they go on to select a person for head of the government."
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Gadkari has responded to questions about Modi, among others, being potential PM candidate."