“What had to be said has already been said so by Sharad Yadav,” says Nitish

Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Monday refuted the statement by Sharad Yadav, president of the Janata Dal (United), the party's ally, that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Member of Parliament Varun Gandhi would not be allowed to campaign in Bihar in the coming Assembly elections.

Referring to Mr. Yadav's statement on Sunday that the “old arrangement would continue both in seat-sharing and in the election campaign,” Mr. Singh said: “The JD(U) has never put any kind of condition to the BJP, nor has Mr. Yadav made any statement of the kind forbidding the entry of Mr. Modi and Mr. Gandhi in Bihar.”

Mr. Singh, however, chose to emphasise on the firmness of the alliance.

The former BJP president said “the BJP-JD(U) alliance is two-decades-old” and that it had really been “a commendable feat for the present government under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to turn things around in Bihar” after 15 years of the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal “misrule.”

Stonewalling a barrage of questions on whether the BJP would ultimately field Mr. Narendra Modi as its star campaigner, especially after the advertisement controversy and Mr. Kumar's subsequent return of the Kosi flood relief aid to Gujarat, Mr. Singh merely said the “question is irrelevant.”

Earlier, after the conclusion of the two-day JD(U) national executive meet in Delhi, Mr. Yadav had strongly indicated the party's opposition to both Mr. Modi and Mr. Gandhi campaigning in Bihar.

Mr. Kumar too refused to comment on the matter on his return from Delhi, merely stating: “What had to be said has already been said so by Mr. Yadav in Delhi.”

Lashes out at Congress

Mr. Rajnath Singh criticised the Congress for its ineffectual handling of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the UPA government had no “well-considered policy” on Kashmir and Pakistan.

“The Centre is confused, while it is eminently clear that the Pakistani Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence are behind the tensions in Kashmir. Despite this, the Central government is continuing talks with Pakistan.”

Mr. Singh reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir would always remain a part of India and that the BJP would oppose every attempt made by the UPA government to dilute the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

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