New Delhi, Oct. 4: Nitish Kumar has extracted a second promise from ally BJP: that it will not use the Ayodhya verdict in its Bihar poll campaign.
Earlier, at Nitishs insistence, the BJP had decided to leave controversial leaders such as Narendra Modi, Varun Gandhi and Vinay Katiyar out of its team of campaigners.
The main issue will be our governments achievements and the contrast between our five years of good governance and Lalu Prasads 18-year misrule, a BJP leader said.
He said he had received feedback that the Ayodhya verdict, which had legitimised the Sangh parivar campaign about the disputed site being Rams birthplace, had enthused our cadres considerably.
Now they are up and about as if they have been administered a booster dose of energy. We need not say anything more. Our objective is achieved, the BJP leader said.
After the verdict was pronounced, the Janata Dal (United) had begun to fear that the sense of triumph that BJP leaders like Ravi Shankar Prasad were expressing in public might put off its Muslim supporters. A Dal (U) source said the party was afraid that Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan might use Prasads statements to whip up anti-Nitish feelings among Muslims. It appears the BJP leadership then asked Prasad, who is from Bihar, and others to tone down their remarks.
Sources said the statements issued by BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and L.K. Advani — apparently aimed at allaying Muslim fears somewhat — were partially driven by political considerations in Bihar.
Gadkari has said the BJP would support an initiative to build a mosque in Ayodhya but outside the disputed complex. Advani has assured Muslims that the VHP wouldnt press its claims over Kashi and Mathura.