Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said here on Tuesday that the country could only be led by principles of secularism and not by religious and casteist agendas.

Asked if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would tie up with the Congress, Mr. Shinde said, “When we talk of secularism it is our duty to help one another. Those with religious and casteist agendas cannot govern the country. It is clear that only secular institutionsrun the country.” He called Mr. Kumar “a good human being” whom he had known since the latter was the Railway Minister.

Mr. Shinde was on a day’s visit to Bihar to lay the foundation stone fora recruitment training centre for the Sashastra Seema Bal in Supaul district.

On the ongoing rescue operations in Uttarakhand, Mr. Shinde said he had banned VIPs from landing there to avoid hindrances in the rescue effort. Asked about Narendra Modi’s visit, he said, “Neither I nor Mr. Modi landed our choppers. We did an aerial survey.”