There are few takers in his own BJP for Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi's stand that Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar could be a likely prime minister.
Modi, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, had in an interview to a leading English daily Monday said that Nitish Kumar is surely PM material. "As chief minister of an important state and valued ally of the BJP, he will definitely play a very important role in 2014 elections," he said.
Hours after Modi's remarks appeared, some BJP leaders including two ministers in Nitish Kumar cabinet, made it clear that they differed with him on the issue.
"It is for the BJP national leadership to decide who is PM material of NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and who will play what role in next parliamentary polls," Bihar NDA convenor and Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav told newaspersons here.
Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey also questioned Modi's statement. "Only the BJP's national leadership is authorised to say anything about who will be a prime ministerial candidate or who will lead NDA," he said.
Choubey, known for his closeness to party's Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, said that if Sushil Modi has made such statement, it was not proper at all.
Nitish Kumar has repeatedly said that he was not in the race for the prime minister's post.