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JD-U may seek clarity from BJP on Modi

Friday April 12, 2013 06:39:31 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Amid rising pitch for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, the JD-U may mount pressure on its ally in the NDA to clear the issue soon, a leader said Friday.

The Janata Dal-United, which with the BJP runs a coalition government in Bihar, may press it for an early decision on the issue at the meetings of JD-U national executive (April 13) and national convention (April 14).

Party sources said the JD-U could decide to part ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if Modi is projected as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The JD-U has strong reservations on any move to name Modi as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate and is expected to elaborate on the issue at its meetings.

The meetings will be addressed by senior JD-U leaders, including party president Sharad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Party leaders said signals about Modi's growing clout in the BJP could figure in the meeting.

They said the final line of the JD-U on prime ministerial issue would emerge from the meetings.

JD-U leaders have said their party's alliance with the BJP was working on a common national agenda and the party has not compromised on the issue of secularism.

They said the JD-U was expected to demand an early decision on the prime ministerial candidate to bring clarity on the issue.

The national executive is slated for April 13 and national convention April 14.

Party sources that the first day will see resolutions on the present political scenario and economic and foreign policy. The party will also discuss organisational matters and coming electoral challenges, including the polls to five state assemblies and the Lok Sabha in 2014.

The party has been consistently demanding special category status for Bihar and has indicated that its decision to lend support others after 2014 polls would be linked to the issue.

There has been some unease in the JD-U over the rise of Modi in the BJP and Nitish Kumar has expressed grave reservations over Modi's candidature for the highest post after his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The JD-U is the largest constituent of the NDA after the BJP, with 20 members in the Lok Sabha. The party leads the government in Bihar, with the BJP as its junior partner.

Modi, in recent speeches, has indicated national ambitions, presenting Gujarat as a model for the rest of the country.

JD-U MP Ali Anwar Ansari told IANS Thursday that the party has laid down "principles" on the issue of prime ministerial candidate and the person should have secular credentials, be able to take everyone along, and should be a votary of the rights of backward states.

He said the NDA would take a decision on its prime ministerial candidate collectively, and the BJP, being its largest constituent, should propose a name.


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