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JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP and party national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari on Sunday said there was no need to rake up the issue of NDA prime ministerial candidate at the moment. He, however, took serious objection to sadhus and saints expressing support for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as PM candidate.
Reacting to war of words between “fringe leaders” of the JD(U) and the BJP over the issue, Tiwari told The Indian Express: “It is completely unwarranted and driven mostly by the electronic media. BJP top leaders have already assured us that the JD(U) would be taken into confidence before taking a decision on PM candidate.”
Last year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said the NDA PM candidate should have “clean and secular” image.
Tiwari said there was need for restraint from either side. “I was only disturbed at saints, taking part in Mahakumbh, vociferously extending support to Narendra Modi. One has the right to profess any religion but sadhus mixing religion with politics is brazen,” said the Rajya Sabha MP.
He was equally surprised at his party colleague and former minister Devesh Chandra Thakur joining Nitish-Modi controversy. Earlier, senior JD(U) leader Harikishore Singh had said Nitish Kumar was the best PM choice.
The Bihar Chief Minister, on his part, has abstained from making any statement on Modi.
JD(U) source close to the CM house, however, said the party has been working on economic alliance with West Bengal and Orissa. “This can lead to a possible political front that may go either with the NDA or contest on its own depending on who is declared NDA PM candidate.”