NDA ally JD(U) today dismissed BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's demand for declaring Narendra Modi the Prime Ministerial candidate as his "personal" view while making it clear that it has no love lost for the Gujarat Chief Minister.
The party said it will wait for BJP's "official stand" on the issue as its leader Nitish Kumar has already conveyed JD(U)'s views on NDA Prime Ministerial candidate.
"Whatever we had to say on the issue (of who should be NDA's PM candidate) our leader Nitish Kumar has already conveyed to the BJP.... He has also spoken clearly about what kind of a person should be the Prime Ministerial candidate. So the ball is in BJP's court," JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari told reporters.
Kumar, who has had reservations on sharing stage with Modi and his campaigning in Bihar, earlier broadly indicated to the BJP that the Gujarat Chief Minister with his Hindutva hardliner image will not be acceptable to JD(U) as the NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate. The Bihar Chief Minister had also said publicly that NDA's candidate for the post should be somebody who is secular and is acceptable across the board.
"JD(U) will react to whatever official stand BJP takes on the issue. We do not consider Sinha's statement as BJP's official view," Tiwari said, adding,"JD(U) does not need any suggestion on who should be made Prime Ministerial candidate or not. There is no need (for Sinha) to be in an advisory role."
But BJP's oldest NDA ally clarified that the Prime Ministerial candidate should be from the BJP.
"We have no objection and in fact we believe that BJP is the biggest party in the alliance so if it comes to forming a stable government, a leader from the BJP should become the PM. Nitish Kumar has already said this," Tiwari said.
"What we have to say on the issue (of Prime Ministership) we have clearly told the BJP. We will give a reaction after what its official decision is. Different BJP leaders give different views on this issue," Tiwari said.
He maintained that every leader, including Sinha, has a right to voice his opinion about issues within his party.
"But no name of the candidate has come yet (from the BJP). It has not declared who its candidate will be. Not once but several times BJP has said it has several leaders who are capable of becoming Prime Minister. Sinha has himself said he does not have any shortcomings as far as becoming a PM candidate is concerned," Tiwari said.
The JD(U) spokesperson maintained that despite the statement from Sinha the NDA alliance is intact and functioning.
Sinha today fired the first shot openly pitching for declaring Modi as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections, saying it will benefit the party hugely.
Contending that he was reflecting the mood of the country and BJP workers, he advised JD(U), which has reservations on Modi because of the 2002 Gujarat riots, not to target the chief minister but take a decision after careful consideration.