Nitish refuses comment on Sushma as PM candidate

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar refused to join issue with Shiv Sena`s Bal Thackeray on latter`s praise for Sushma Swaraj as the BJP`s best candidate PM`s post.

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday refused to join issue with Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray on the latter`s praise for Sushma Swaraj as the BJP`s best candidate for the Prime Minister`s post and said he will give his opinion at an appropriate time.

"I will give my opinion (about the BJP`s candidate for the prime minister`s post) at the NDA meeting to be held at an appropriate time to discuss the matter," Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of the `Janata Durbar.`

When pressed further on his assessment of Swaraj -- the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha -- as her party`s prime ministerial candidate, Kumar said there was "a wide gap in being `PM material` and a final decision being taken about a candidate."

"(PM) material hone aur nirnaya hone mein fasla hai," he said. The JD(U) has adopted a consistent line to not discuss the prime ministerial candidate issue in public and he will stick to the party line, Kumar added.

On raging controversy over the ancestry of the Thackerays` being linked to Bihar, the Chief Minister said he had no knowledge about it.

About the JD(U)`s contesting Gujarat Assembly polls and campaigning by him for his party`s candidate, Kumar said his party will definitely contest the assembly polls in Gujarat and the decision on contesting number of seats will be taken by the JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav.

He, however, said that he may not campaign for the JD(U) candidates in Gujarat assembly polls due to his hectic engagements over the next few months.

"I will be busy in the `Adhikhar yatra` in September and October and President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Bihar on October three next," Kumar said, adding the the `Adhikar rally will take place in November to be followed by convening of winter session of the state legislature.

His visit to Pakistan may be scheduled around the year end and he will launch `Seva Yatra` to the districts from first week of December, Kumar said, adding that he will be hardpressed for time to campaign for JD(U) candidates in Gujarat assembly polls.