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Cong welcomes Nitish`s stand on `secular` PM

As cracks appeared in NDA over Narendra Modi, Congress on Wednesday sought to drive a wedge in the Opposition alliance.

New Delhi: As cracks appeared in NDA over Narendra Modi, Congress on Wednesday sought to drive a wedge in the Opposition alliance in the wake of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s call for a "secular" Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 general elections.

"We will definitely welcome if the JD-U leader Nitish Kumar leaves NDA. He has rightly said that a country with such diverse cultures and beliefs needs a secular person at the top," AICC in-charge for Bihar, Gulchain Singh Charak told reporters here.

Asked whether UPA will welcome Kumar`s party if it leaves NDA, Charak said that such decisions are only taken by the UPA Chairperson and it has to be seen whether Kumar will be agreeing to issues like Common Minimum Programme of UPA or its policies.

Charak`s reaction was in contrast to the dismissive response of the party`s official spokesperson Rashid Alvi, who said that Congress does not "meddle" into internal affairs of any party or alliance and that the issue is between Kumar and NDA.

The remarks by Congress leaders came on a day when cracks appeared in NDA over Kumar`s assertion that the Opposition alliance should have a "secular" Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014 general elections.

Taking anti-Modi tone in JD-U to a high decibel, party general secretary Shivanand Tiwari said that NDA cannot come to power with a "fanatic face" and that the Opposition alliance would not have lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections had the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee dismissed Narendra Modi government.

Alvi said," What is the internal tussle in NDA or who is made its Prime Ministerial candidate concerns the alliance or JD-U. Whether Nitish Kumar will leave NDA or remain in that alliance is their matter. Congress has nothing to do with that. We do not want to break any party or alliance or interfere into its internal matters."


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