New Delhi: JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reportedly asked BJP president Nitin Gadkari not to project Narendra Modi as NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 polls.
Kumar during a meeting with the BJP chief in Delhi on July 25, sought an assurance in this regard, sources told Zee News.
During the meeting, Gadkari told Nitish that no decision has yet been taken on Narendra Modi being BJP’s Prime Ministerial choice, sources said. The BJP chief also assured the Bihar Chief Minister that when NDA decides on the PM candidate, all NDA allies including the JD(U) would also be taken into confidence.
The JD(U) leader told the BJP president that general elections are only one-and-half year left, so it would be better if NDA finalises its PM choice soon, sources added.
Sources in JD(U) maintained that if the BJP projects Modi as PM in 2014 elections, Nitish Kumar would have no hesitation in snapping ties with BJP.
JD(U) with 29 MPs in Parliament is the second largest coalition partner of the NDA after BJP.
Kumar, earlier in an interview to a newspaper, had stressed that the NDA nominee for the Prime Ministerial post for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections should be somebody with "secular credentials".
Following Nitish’s “secular PM” blabber, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had hit out at the Bihar Chief Minister.
“The country should have a Prime Minister who propounds hindutwa”, Bhagwat had said adding, “Nitish Kumar is scared to call himself a Hindu”.
Nitish and Modi, the two top NDA leaders are not on good terms. The Bihar chief minister, who enjoys strong support of Muslims, did not allow Modi to campaign both in 2005 Assembly elections as well as in 2010 polls.
Modi had twice tried to show that he and Kumar are not on bad terms by reaching him first at a NDA rally at Ludhiana during last general elections and recently at a CM`s meet in Delhi.
But Modi`s overtures did not end Kumar`s opposition to him.