Nitish for advance announcement of NDA's PM candidate
Patna: Upping the pressure on coalition partner BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said a Prime Ministerial candidate should be announced in advance.
Kumar, a senior JD(U) leader, at the same time rejected suggestions that he was nursing prime ministerial ambitions, saying he is not a contender. The next Lok Sabha polls are due in 2014.
"People discuss and evaluate such a prime ministeral candidate if the announcement is made by a political party or an alliance in advance. It helps the people in taking the right decision," he told newsmen at the state assembly premises here.
Kumar said he had discussed the issue of BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the next general elections during his meeting with the party's president Nitin Gadkari last month but refused to elaborate.
"I have nothing to add to what Gadkari had said about the issues discussed during meeting with him last month ... My meetings with Gadkari and Arun Jaitley take place routinely from time to time," he said and refused to be drawn further on questions on the agenda of discussions with the BJP chief.
Apparently seeking to make light of his pitching for a secular candidate for the prime minister's post amidst suggestions he was propping up his own candidature, the Kumar denied he was having any such aspiration.
"I am not a contender for the prime minister's post ... The thought of prime ministership does not crop up even in my wildest dreams. I don't nurse any ambition for the top post," he said.
Kumar also sought to make light of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackarey's comments that he was opposing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's candidature for prime ministership by pitching for a secular candidate as he was himself nursing an ambition for the top post.
"The analysis was his (Thackeray's) own views," he said.
Replying to a question, Kumar said the era of coalition politics will continue in the country and that a coalition government should be headed by the largest alliance partner to lend stability at the Centre.
On the assessment of the political situation after the next general elections made by L K Advani in his blog that created a ripple in NDA, Kumar said the BJP leader had emphasised on the necessity of coalition politics.
"Advani had emphasized on the necessity and continuance of coalition politics in the country over long periods and all political commentators and analysts will agree that it is not an era of a single party rule ... It is an era of coalition politics," Kumar said.
NDA had successfully run a coalition government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and it was succeeded by another coalition the UPA, whose performance has been "unsatisfactory", the chief minister said.
There were other coalition governments earlier too like the one headed by H D Deve Gowda in 1996 but the senior alliance partner had stayed out of the government that led to political instability in the country at that time, he added.