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No NDA unity for Gujarat poll

In the assembly elections to be held in Gujarat this year, the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] will have one of its own allies in the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] as a competitor. The Janata Dal [United], which has had uneasy relations with the BJP in the past, will contest on 100 seats in Gujarat this time. 

On Monday, the JD[U] president Sharad Yadav said, 'There are some districts where we will contest on our own.'

Moreover, the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has had a stormy relationship with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, has decided to compaign in Gujarat. 'Nitish Kumar will campaign in Gujarat. We can have alliance in several other states but not in Gujarat. We have been contesting elections in Gujarat on our own. There is no NDA there,' said Yadav. The JD[U] leader added that apart from Bihar, there is no alliance between his party and the BJP in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi among other states.

In the 2007 assembly election, the JD[U] had contested on 35 seats in Gujarat and was able to win only one seat. This time the party is contesting on 100 seats out of a total of 182 seats in the state. The BJP downplayed the development. 'This is nothing new. The JD[U] has been contesting on its own in the past also. In 2002 too, the party had contested separately,' said the BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.

Though Kumar will campaign in Gujarat, the Bihar chief minister had made it clear during the last assembly and general election that Modi should not be brought to Bihar for campaigning. Recently Kumar had met the BJP president Nitin Gadkari and had categorically stated that Modi should not be the prime ministerial candidate of the party. Modi too had attacked Kumar and blamed the backwardness of Bihar due to the caste politics practised by its politicians.
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