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BJP ally in Bihar JD (U) is against Modi for PM's post

Sunday September 18, 2011 08:01:11 PM, IANS

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Patna: Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leaders have not only kept away from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's fast, but raised voices against Modi being projected as a prime ministerial candidate in 2014.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself, however, is yet to say anything about his partner in the National Democratic Alliance, despite repeated attempts by the media to draw him out.

"We have nothing to do with Modi's fast," Bihar JD-U president Basisht Narain Singh said Sunday. "It is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) show, not a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fast."

Singh said that Nitish Kumar had nationwide acceptability and popularity.

"As far as development, harmony and change for betterment are concerned, Nitish Kumar is at the top. The Nitish model is discussed in the country and outside," Singh said in reaction to Modi being projected as the future PM.

Another senior JD-U leader, Shivanand Tiwari, directly questioned Modi's image by saying that a person who "failed to follow rajdharma" with five crore people of a state could not possibly do so with the 125 crore people of India.

"Modi has failed to discharge 'rajdharma' in Gujarat in the 2002 communal riots," Tiwari said and added a sense of insecurity still pervaded the minds of people in Gujarat.

Tiwari, party MP and national spokesperson, said that Modi would not be acceptable as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate. "Modi can be a BJP candidate for anything but not of the NDA," Tiwari told IANS Sunday.

JD-U's parliament member Ali Anwar said that Modi could not be a face of the NDA. "BJP is free to project him any way, but as far as NDA is concerned, Modi is not our face," he said.

A political observer said that in Bihar's JD-U nothing moves without Nitish Kumar's approval. "If JD-U leaders are speaking against Modi, they have the backing of Kumar," he said.

Earlier, JD-U national president Sharad Yadav said that 70 to 80 percent of the people went hungry every day but none talked about them. Fasts by individuals become national talking points.

The JD-U, which has been consistently making attempts to woo Muslim voters in the state, strongly opposed Modi's coming to Bihar for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and the state assembly election in 2010.

Differences between Nitish Kumar and the BJP over Modi began June 12 last year when he expressed displeasure over newspaper advertisements featuring him and Modi. Later, Kumar even returned the money given by Gujarat to the state in 2008 for flood relief.



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