Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey has played down the spat between his party and its ally, the JD(U), over the possibility of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi being projected as the NDA's PM candidate.
"The alliance should continue in the larger interest of over 10.5 crore people of Bihar and work towards the growth of the state," Pandey said here on Saturday.
He said the BJP wanted to add to its list of allies rather than sacrifice any of those who were already with the party. "But we should be clear no alliance can run if any partner exercises a veto."
Pandey said BJP national president Rajnath Singh had advised party MPs, MLAs and other leaders at a meeting in Delhi on Thursday not to indulge in any war of words with the JD(U) in the larger interest of the unity of the NDA.
The war of words between the two partners in Bihar's ruling coalition had been set off after CM Nitish Kumar lashed out at Modi, without naming him, at the JD(U) national council meeting last Sunday.
In a terse statement, the BJP had rejected the charges against Modi and some party leaders publicly described Modi as a popular choice of a large number people. JD(U) leaders, on the other hand, made it clear that Modi was not acceptable to their party as the NDA's PM candidate.
NDA sources described the Pandey's placatory statement as "a damage-control exercise to save the alliance".