| Chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses a news meet at his official residence in Patna on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Feb. 11: Nitish Kumar feels naming the NDA prime ministerial candidate before next year’s general elections is important but he refuses to set any deadline for the alliance to announce it.
“It is not for me to make my stand clear on the issue everyday. There is no confusion on this in my party. We will speak out our terms when the meeting (of the NDA) is held. Please wait till then,” he said today when asked about the Narendra Modi-for-PM issue.
Nitish supported the opinion of the JD(U) president, Sharad Yadav, that the NDA’s choice for PM should be decided in the meeting of the opposition coalition.
He also refused to comment on Modi being invited to a European Union meet.
Nitish has remained silent even as the orchestra for Modi as PM has been hyped in the Sangh Parivar. Even in Bihar, the BJP MPs like Shatrughan Sinha and C.P. Thakur do not miss an opportunity to drop the name of the Gujarat chief minister as the party’s PM candidate in spite of a notice by party president Rajnath Singh urging leaders not to make much hullabaloo about this. However, Nitish has been clear in his views that the PM post should go to the largest party in the alliance.
The JD(U) leaders say that the chief minister does not want to precipitate a crisis in the NDA and Bihar at this time. “But one thing is sure that there would be no compromise on Modi,” said a close confidant of the Bihar chief minister stressing that things were expected to get rough after the Karnataka elections when Modi is expected to step in to play a more active role in the party affairs. Backing out of his stand of a “secular PM candidate” would be political marginalisation of Nitish, he said.