The JD(U) has showed utter confusion within its party and ranks over the issue of Narendra Modi. While party President Sharad Yadav castigated leaders like KC Tyagi and Shabir Ali for making their stand public and showed willingness to continue the 17-year-old alliance with the BJP, Nitish Kumar preferred to take on Narendra Modi and his Gujarat model. The JD(U) also gave time to the BJP till December to declare its PM candidate by taking all NDA partners into confidence.
The BJP hit back at Nitish Kumar and rejected his indirect statement against Modi and his secular credentials. Nitish said a PM should take everyone on side, unite the people and wear a “cap” if required along with a “Tika”. The BJP rejected Nitish’s observations, saying wearing a Muslim cap does not make somebody secular. What matters is the work and development of all sections of the society.
The BJP also asked its allies not to criticise the work of its Chief Ministers and rather focus on their own affairs. The party also asked all alliance partners to work towards the goal of uprooting the UPA rule at the centre, which the party called as the need of the hour.
Earlier, Nitish hailed Atal Behari Vajpayee as a leader of the masses who took everyone into confidence and asked all to follow his ‘Rajdharma’. He also ruled himself out of the PM’s race, saying he does not suffer from that illusion, as he has seen the fate of IK Gujral, Chadrashekhar, Chaudhury Charan Singh and HD Devegowda, who dared to be the PM despite not having big numbers.
Nitish refused to accept the Gujarat model of development, saying one state’s model cannot be ideal for another state. He listed the development and growth of Bihar. He also refused to make any compromise on the issue of secularism, saying his party would prefer to give up power, but won’t choose the path, which goes against its principles.
The BJP questioned Nitish and JD(U) for criticising its Chief Ministers instead of doing so against the UPA Chief Ministers. The party warned the JD(U) and Nitish Kumar from refraining from such acts, which would damage the prospects of the NDA.