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JD(U) rules out backing Modi for PM

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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But it will not align with “enemy” Congress at the cost of “friend” Bharatiya Janata Party

Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav (right) and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the national executive meeting of the party in New Delhi on Saturday.— Photo: R.V. Moorthy
Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav (right) and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the national executive meeting of the party in New Delhi on Saturday.— Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Prime ministerial aspirants within the BJP, facing the formidable Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, have reasons to cheer. One of the party’s key allies, the Janatal Dal (United), has made it clear that support to Mr. Modi would compromise its ‘secular commitment.’

Though issues related to the coming Lok Sabha elections, including the desirable qualifications to become the BJP’s Prime Minister candidate, would be formally discussed at the party’s plenary when the draft political resolution is debated, the unambiguous message to the BJP on the opening day was that it had to abide by the “coalition dharma” of consensus and accommodative politics.

There were three unambiguous messages, all aimed at the BJP, on the opening of the two-day conclave where the JD(U) president Sharad Yadav was re-elected: the JU(U) could not reconcile itself to the prospect of Mr. Modi being at the helm of affairs after his failure to check the 2002 communal riots and its aftermath in Gujarat; BJP should continue to keep contentious issues like the Ram Temple, abrogation of Article 370 and enforcement of a uniform civil code on hold; the JD(U) believes that the BJP, as the single largest party in the NDA, should lead the general election.

It was also made known that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had no intention whatsoever of becoming the Prime Minister if the NDA were to be in a position to form the government.

A clearer picture on whether the party would insist that the BJP name its prime ministerial candidate well ahead of the 2014 general election would emerge at the end of the debate on the draft political resolution. Indications are that the party may not put a timeline on when it expects the BJP to name its PM candidate.

At a news conference here, senior JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi ruled out aligning with “enemy” Congress at the cost of “friend” BJP. The manner in which the Congress had brought down Central governments dependent on its support in the past did not inspire confidence in the party.

“As long as the Parliamentary Board of the BJP does not categorically say who its prime ministerial candidate is, why should we talk about it?” Mr. Tyagi said in response to a question.

Interestingly, he mentioned that the NDA had projected BJP leader L.K. Advani as its PM candidate in the 2009 general election.

On the possibility of a tie-up with the Congress in future, Mr. Tyagi said: “Congress is an enemy party. This possibility did not exist earlier. Neither does it now… not even remotely.”


  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has no intention of becoming Prime Minister

  • Wants BJP to continue to keep contentious issues like the Ram Temple on hold


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