New Delhi: National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convener and senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav said there is a need to hunt for the prime ministerial candidate, referring to the constant buzz in the media about Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi being the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
He said, “It is as though this is some sort of nuclear research,” he observed in his characteristic acerbic tone. He reiterated that the NDA has “not discussed, not decided” on who would be its prime ministerial candidate.
Yadav felt that this talk about Modi was being fanned by some of the corporates — “not all the corporates are involved in this,” he asserted — and that the media houses were playing up the issue.
He warned that the corporates were playing with fire when they engage in political questions. “Don’t play politics. They (the corporates) cannot control Parliament,” he said. He said it is the people of India who will decide the 543 members who would be elected to the Lok Sabha.
He mocked at the media for being so enthusiastic about Modi becoming the prime minister, citing the Urdu saying “begaane ke shaadi mein Abdullah diwana (Going ecstatic over a stranger’s marriage)”.
He said there were more burning issues like unemployment, rising prices and idleness of the work force, and that the issue of who would be prime minister is not a life-and-death question.
Yadav clarified that the national agenda of the NDA did not include contentious issues like the Ayodhya temple, and dismissed out of hand whether a small number of the members of Dharma Sansad who have gathered at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad will decide the temple issue.
He said that the people of India will set the political agenda for the country, and it will be reflected in the election verdict.
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr/DNA