NDA has not yet decided its PM candidate: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the Prime Minister should be the leader of the largest party of the alliance and should not be a nominated person.

New Delhi: Amid suggestions by some BJP leaders that Narendra Modi was fit to be the Prime Minister, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the NDA has not yet decided on its Prime Ministerial candidate and this will be done at a later stage.

At a session of `Agenda` programme organised by a news channel, the Bihar Chief Minister said the Prime Minister should be the leader of the largest party of the alliance and should not be a nominated person.

"We don`t have any information that the BJP has decided on its Prime Ministerial candidate and if they want the support of allies of NDA, they will have to come to the NDA and share with us.”

"At that time, there will be proposal about who is the candidate and what we have to do. That time is not here yet... What I see is that both parties (Congress and BJP) have not yet decided on the issue (PM candidate)," he said.

Kumar was reacting to a question that between Congress and BJP, whom will he support for Prime Ministership if the BJP zeroes in on Modi for the top slot.

In recent times, BJP leaders including Sushma Swaraj have stated that the Gujarat Chief Minister was fit to be the next Prime Minister.

On the possibility of a Government being formed under his leadership, Kumar said, "I am far, far away from this race. I do not even dream about it."

On suggestions that Rahul Gandhi was Prime Ministerial candidate of the Congress, Kumar differed, saying, "There is a fine difference. Rahul Gandhi is termed as the future leader of the party but he has not been declared as the future Prime Ministerial candidate for the party.”

"Sonia Gandhi is the leader of the Congress but she nominated Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. Whether Rahul would also nominate someone, that is not clear yet." Kumar said he was of the view that "responsibility of leadership in alliances should be with the leader of the larger party as it is their responsibility to take everyone together. If smaller party is given the charge, then they would always be under pressure."

On the issue of Prime Ministership, he said there may be some aberrations but the leader (of alliances) should be made Prime Minister and he should not be nominated.

"The leader should take this responsibility. There should not be two power centres. Governments can go on for five years. It can keep on dragging. The Prime Minister has to lead the country politically also. I am not talking just about administration," Kumar said.

He said during the NDA regime, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was both the leader of the NDA and Prime Minister also.

"The Prime Minister has to lead the country politically also... I respect Manmohan Singhji a lot and he has all the qualities. But despite all this, this post should be both government and political leader. When such a person leads the country, the masses are attached to it," Kumar said.

Asked if this suggestion meant that Modi could not be the PM candidate, Kumar said, "I have not said this. I had said this thing in an interview to a news daily. I still stand by that and it is not required to say that thing every day."

On whether he had a troubled relationship with Modi, the Bihar Chief Minister said, "I am here as the Chief Minister of Bihar and will not speak anything out of that domain."

Asked whether he would go to campaign in Gujarat polls either in favour or against Modi, Kumar said, "JD(U) has pockets of influence in tribal areas and this has been there for long.”

"We got two seats in 2002, in 2007 also we had our MLAs and this time also we will win there. Our national president Sharad Yadav is going there. "

On whether he would want to have bargaining power like SP and BSP who voted with the Government on the FDI issue, he said, "There is very strange aspect about this country. Someone asked me and I said this Government will continue to function on jugaad technology (appropriate technology)."

"I pray to god that we should not win on such bargaining powers. We may be in politics or be wiped out, but we should not indulge in such bargaining."

Asked to comment on Kumar`s comments, Congress leader and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said, "In our Parliamentary democracy, political parties have this right and these two have also taken a decision. We should respect this."


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