BJP must desist from projecting Modi as PM candidate: JD (U)

NEW DELHI: Making clear its aversion for Narendra Modi, JD-U today virtually gave an ultimatum to BJP to desist from projecting the Gujarat Chief Minister as NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate or be ready to snap the alliance.

The warning was given by party general secretary Shivanand Tiwari, who said that NDA cannot come to power with a “fanatic face” and JD-U will not compromise on principles on which it had joined the Opposition alliance in 1996.

After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s strong pitch for a “secular” Prime Ministerial candidate for NDA, Tiwari took the anti-Modi tone in JD-U to a new decibel.

He said that surveys indicate that had the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee dismissed Modi government in Gujarat for the post-Godhara riots in 2002, NDA would have still been in power and not lost the 2004 general elections.

“People who voted for BJP due to liberal face of Vajpayee went away from it after Gujarat riots and the floating votes went to Congress because people do not accept fanatic politics. Those people in BJP who want the party to come to power will have to realize that they cannot do it by putting a fanatic face in the front,” Tiwari said in an apparent reference to Modi.

He said while Vajpayee had asked Modi to follow the ‘Raj Dharma’ and wanted the government to go, the move was “vetoed” by BJP leaders like L K Advani.

Tiwari said JD (U) will not compromise on the secular framework based on which it had become a part of NDA, maintaining, “We will not compromise whether our government remains in Bihar or not.”

JD-U chief and NDA convener Sharad Yadav declined to comment on the spat as Nitish Kumar’s remarks invited criticism from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

“Nitish Kumar is a responsible person. If he has said something on which somebody else has said something, what is the need for me to paraphrase it further,” was his brief remark on the issue. -PTI

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