Nitish Rules Himself Out From PM Race
Ruling himself out from the race for Prime Ministership, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said he does not nurse such "illusions" with the little strength his party has.

Addressing an open session at JD(U)'s National Council meet here, Kumar also praised former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his ability to take along all sections of the society and stressed that JD(U) was keen to run a successful alliance with its major ally BJP.

"We are not having any such illusion (of becoming PM). We have a party but we don't nurse an illusion that we will become one with so little strength. If we nurse any such illusion, we will meet the same fate as A K Gujral, Chaurdhary Charan Singh and Chandrashekhar. This is the only truth," he said.

Snubbing the repeated calls for making him the Prime Ministerial candidate from some sections of the gathering, Kumar said, "Stop it or you will be made one (the Prime Minister).... But if people run this news, what can we do."

He voiced confidence that NDA will be able to sort out its differences. "Our alliance (with BJP) is 17 years old. We want to run this alliance," he said.

Projecting Bihar's development, Kumar also took a dig at the much publicised Gujarat model of development.

Without taking any names, he said, "Many people will accept it as development even when a developed state is growing. We have been backward. If we develop, it is to be discussed. Bihar has its own story of development. It has its own topography. From where will we get the seashore."

Kumar mentioned that though Bihar was never known for its abilities in trade and business, the state has a history of knowledge and good governance.

"There are some places where trade are bound to happen. They will develop. Every state has its core competence. We (Bihar) were never known for trade. We were known for either knowledge or good governance," he said.

Earlier addressing the gathering, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said though his party may not agree with BJP on certain issues, but those disagreements have always been resolved through meetings.

"We do not agree with the BJP on many issues. We are in favour of reservation for Christian Dalits and Muslim Dalits.... We are in favour of quota in promotion for the SCs/STs. We are ahead of the NDA in this. But these issues have never hampered the alliance," he said.

Recalling that he was persuaded by George Fernandes to join NDA, Yadav said, "When we first joined the NDA, I thought that the party was drifting away from its ideology. But George Fernandes read me out the national agenda and asked me whether we were actually drifting away from our traditional values."

Mentioning the conditions on which NDA was formed, Yadav said the alliance was set up after discussions over Article 370, Common Civil Code and Ram Temple and Babri Mosque.

"The solution of Ram Temple- Babari Mosque dispute can take place only with talks or by a court order.... In these three issues, everything is included," he said.

Yadav also said that Kumar became a part of the NDA before him and thus has better experience of working with its leaders.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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