Millennium Post

Project PM candidate for 2014, JD(U) tells BJP

The battle of nerves between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its foremost ally Janata Dal (United) is entering a crucial phase with the latter pressurising the former to declare its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha polls. With Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi emerging as the most popular leader of the BJP, the JD(U) leadership, which is not very favourably disposed towards Modi, wants an early resolution of the matter. The JD (U) leaders argue that in the past NDA has gone to elections projecting Atal Behari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani as candidates well in advance.

‘Declaration of the prime ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is one of our main agenda in the national executive of the party,’ said JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi. The JD (U) leader also said Narendra Modi will be their focus during the two-day meet in New Delhi and the party will discuss what stand to take if the Gujarat chief minister is declared the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. The BJP leaders, however, said they haven’t received any formal intimation from their ally on the issue of declaring the prime ministerial candidate.

‘JD(U) is our valued and long enduring partner, and have been fighting corruption against the Congress,’ said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, when asked about JD(U) wanting the BJP to declare the prime ministerial candidate of NDA.

JD(U), in the past, have openly expressed their reservations against Modi, with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar making it amply clear that the person for the coveted post should have secular credentials. ‘We had never compromised on the issue of secularism nor will we do now,’ said JD(U) president and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav.

JD(U) leaders say one of the reasons for pressing for an early demand of declaring the prime ministerial candidate is the party’s win in the by polls in Kalyanpur in Bihar. Party leaders say that the constituency has a significant amount of upper caste votes which aligned with the JD(U), thus rejecting the notion that the upper castes, considered to be the BJP’s vote bank, are moving away from the JD (U). Sources indicate that a win in the by elections in the Maharajganj Lok Sabha constituency which will be held soon will be a shot in the arm for the JD(U) and the party might even consider walking out of the alliance with the BJP.
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