The party declared that it will not agree to projection of Modi for the post

All eyes would be on the deliberations of the two-day national executive of the Janata Dal (United) beginning on Saturday as the party has taken a strong position it would not agree to projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the National Democratic Alliance’s prime ministerial candidate.

The growing clamour in sections of the BJP in favour of Mr. Modi has not gone down well among some of the NDA constituents.

The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has gone on record several times in recent months that his party would want the NDA to project a person with ‘secular credentials’ as its prime ministerial candidate leaving little to doubt that Mr. Modi would not be acceptable.

At the meeting the JD-U is expected to make a strong demand for the early projection of the next prime ministerial candidate of the alliance and emphasise its commitment to secularism ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

In response to pointed questions on who should lead the NDA in the 2014 general election, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said, “We had never compromised on the issue of secularism nor will we do now.”

Asked whether the party would discuss the issue of Mr. Modi's increased projection in the BJP, he said, “there is no bar on any issue. Everything can be discussed. Sky is the limit as far discussing issues is concerned.”

The JD (U)’s antipathy towards Mr. Modi is rooted in the reality that in Bihar party draws its support from minorities and could ill afford to ignore their sentiments.

Mr. Yadav, who is also the NDA convener, said that the alliance between the BJP and the JD-U is working on a common agenda under which the BJP had to drop its controversial issues like Ram Temple, abrogation of Article 370 and the Uniform Civil Code.

“Our national agenda is secular. It is there for last 17 years. Our issues and their [BJP's] issues are different,” he said.