Saying that there were no differences within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari today stated that alliance partners Shiv Sena and JD(U), which are supporting the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential election, were “independent”.

“Though they are very much a part of NDA, they also maintain their independent status, and the media tried to project some differences within NDA which is unjust...the chapter is closed,” Mr. Gadkari said at a press conference in Nagpur.

He also said that the issue of projecting a candidate for Prime Minister’s post for 2014 elections had no relevance today, as elections were two years away.

The BJP-led NDA would continue its fight against the UPA government over the issues of price rise and corruption, Mr. Gadkari asserted.

As to the Presidential election, Mr. Gadkari said that historically contest was the norm, barring the unanimous election of Dr. Neelam Sanjiv Reddy. Principal opposition party of the day had always opposed the ruling party candidate.

To a query on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s opposition to having a non-secular candidate for PM’s post, Mr. Gadkari said a decision on the issue would be taken at an appropriate time.

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