‘Not in PM race; NDA candidate must be secular’
New Delhi: Seeking to rest all speculation, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asserted that he is not in the prime ministerial race, however, without taking names, he has also made it clear that JD(U) will not accept the leadership of Narendra Modi.
“NDA should declare its candidate in advance. This leader should be acceptable to every constituent of the alliance. To me, the leader of the coalition should have secular credentials. It should be someone who has absolute faith in democratic values,” Nitish said in an interview to a newspaper.
“In a multi-religious and multi-lingual country like ours, the leader should not have rough edges in his personality. An alliance can win the confidence of the people only if the leader is seen as accommodating,” he told Economic Times.
On his own prime ministerial ambitions, Nitish said, “I am not in the race for prime ministership. I cannot even dream of that high office. The prime minister should be from the bigger party. We can only play a supporting role. But that depends on who leads the alliance. I have already outlined the qualities required of the leader. “
Nitish’s candid comments appear to be aimed at setting the rules of the game before the NDA, specifically the BJP, starts to mull over the strategy to take on the UPA in 2014.
It is also possible that he calculates that UPA’s tenure won’t last that long and hence Nitish thought it prudent to deflate ‘Modi for PM’ movement before gains further traction.
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