Amid reports that Congress leaders were deliberating at the Jaipur conclave on ways to attract new allies, BJP’s ally Janata Dal (United) gave it a ray of hope.
JD(U) showed its reluctance in accepting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for 2014 polls.
JD(U) leaders reiterated CM Nitish Kumar’s views that the BJP-led NDA must name a PM candidate with secular credentials; a profile that Modi does not match.
While JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said BJP must declare their choice for the top post, another JD(U) leader Devesh Chandra Thakur said the main opposition party must consult its allies in this regard.
JD(U), BJP leaders in Bihar spar over Modi
Meanwhile, in Patna, slogans were chanted in favour of Modi by BJP workers at a function held by the party’s state council to formalise election of Mangal Pandey as its new Bihar unit chief.
Former state unit president Tarakant Jha hinted at Modi being the party’s PM candidate for the 2014 general elections taking top BJP leaders, including deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, by surprise.
The outgoing BJP state president CP Thakur too raised the Modi issue saying he should visit Bihar at the earliest opportunity, referring to the cancellation of a dinner by Nitish Kumar for visiting top BJP leaders, including Modi, during the party’s national executive in June 2010.
BJP leader and animal husbandry and fisheries minister and ardent Modi fan Giriraj Singh demanded that the ‘stigma’ on the party’s image in the wake of last minute cancellation of dinner for delegates by Nitish Kumar should be removed.
The BJP in Bihar is divided between deputy CM Sushil K Modi, who is close to Nitish Kumar and other leaders who are opposed to Nitish Kumar. Many of them believe that the JD(U) will break its alliance with BJP before the Lok Sabha polls.